Then! Oh my, then he starts talking about how he will find a home without a daddy so that he can move there and be the daddy. My heart broke.
My little 6 year old's view of becoming a father is moving in with a family.
It's obvious how this happened, but I hadn't realised that this was his view. The Ex and I broke up when I was pregnant with Jamie. We spent some time trying to reconcile after the birth but by the time Jamie was about 6 months, The Ex had moved on and was in a new relationship. Unfortunately that new relationship was responsible for a lot of the breakdown in my boys' relationship with their father. Where he used to be attentive and involved, he would only bother to see them once every week or two. Where he used to be the fun, silly parent he was now strict in creating rules in his new home. A lot of this was due to him living with his g/f who didn't have children and who was afraid he would leave her and come back to his family. It took a long time for them to work out these issues and by then, the boys had lost their father.
We were a family ourselves, but I always knew they were hurting. Their uncles would help in some ways, staying involved so that they would have men around, but it wasn't enough. They missed their dad. Through all of it though, I hadn't considered how much this situation was shaping their worldview. Jason moved in last year after we were engaged. At the time, James had just turned 5. I believe the marriage and our constant vigilance regarding the issue has allowed some healing and now 3 of the 4 boys call Jason Daddy. Micah is holding off but he is so starved for male affection that despite his best efforts, he is coming around. He and Jason spend a lot of time watching guy movies or shows or playing video games. It's their bonding time and hopefully with time and effort, they will have the father/son relationship they need.
I was sad for Jamie when he talked about his plans this morning. But after having a chance to think it over, Im more grateful that he now has a Daddy that can show him how to really be a man and a father one day.