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Where does that pipe go, Daddy?
Why is there so much sand at the beach?
Why don’t dogs meow?
Where is Mommy, Daddy?
That last one soon became the most frequent one I heard. And, of course, it was the hardest to answer. How do you tell a 3-year-old boy that his mother is mentally ill and therefore unfit to raise him? How do you tell your son that any stress at all could unhinge the slow progress she was making? And that he, in effect, could be “stress?”
I gave up on finding a neat, easy answer. So I said Mommy wasn’t feeling well, but when she was better, she would visit more often. I said that Mommy loves him just as much as Daddy does, that she thinks about him all the time.
Then: “Will Mommy live with us again?”
Looking into my son’s eyes and saying “Maybe not” has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
Alex and I are moving along. He is a bright, inquisitive, and thoughtful child. He has lots of little friends at preschool, and is learning to ride a bike, with training wheels. He adores Paw Patrol and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.
As for his mother, when she takes her medication, she is able to function and is trying to work her way back into his life as much as she can. While we will probably never be a whole family unit again, we’re trying to make Alex’s life the best it can be.
No matter what happens, though, I’ll be right there when he takes his training wheels off.
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