Last week, as we were driving to collect Steve after swimming, Ben sat in the back of the car and told me he was never having anything to do with daddy ever again! Typical 5 yr old thing and I thought not much more of it.
On further discussion, he listed everything he does with daddy and said he was never doing them again. No sitting next to him, no wrestling, no reading books, no playing etc, you name it he wasn't doing it!
I asked if he was talking to daddy and he said "maybe tomorrow"
I was quite shocked, I wondered exactly what Steve had done to warrent such exclusion from Ben's little 5 1/2 yr old life?
But what Ben told me was the reason for this sudden departure from his life was more of a shock than anything I was ever expecting............he had decided to exclude daddy from everything because daddy was going to die and there would be a funeral.
I was gobsmacked. I felt like someone had just twisted my heartstrings and said 'welcome to the rough side of motherhood'
I had a quick discussion with him whilst we drove across Hamilton to collect Steve, explaining that yes one day daddy would die and that yes there would be a funeral, but that hopefully Ben would be at least Steve's age before that ever happened.
When we collected Steve from work, before I drove off, I told Steve about our little conversation. I got Ben to tell Daddy why he was not having anything to do with him.
Whilst he was telling this, I sat there with tears rolling down my cheeks.
Steve was more concerned with me to begin with, he wanted to know what was wrong, but then I said "ask him why he doesn't want anything to do with you?"
And so Ben told him he was going to die and there would be a funeral.
Steve was a little taken back, but again reiterated exactly what I had said to Ben earlier. Reassuring Ben that he could still be part of daddy's life, as daddy was not going anywhere.
We did decide to mention it the next day to Ben's teacher, as it was obvious it had come from school. Ben said they had discussed it during news time!
The teacher informed us that no it hadn't been discussed during news, but that one of the little girls in the class had sadly lost some family members a couple of weeks ago and she was having a very hard time getting over it and she was still quite angry. She said she would make sure they had a healthy discussion about death as a whole class because she was aware that this little girl was mentioning it to all the children during break time and upsetting some of them.
I know this is something that we can't avoid, and I am happy for Ben to know about it. I know there is never going to be a good time in his life to bring up death. It was just the sudden way he was dropping Steve from his life that got me.