Ah my sweet, sensitive Seth. He has struggled with change since earliest childhood. I worked in a bank a couple of days a week when he was only a few months, and for the entire 5 hours I was gone, he would cry. If he was at our house he was all right, but take him out of his element and watch out! When we got posted back to HRM, I stayed home with him for a year before looking for work. He was just about 2 when we moved to the house and I went back to work only a couple of weeks before his 3rd birthday. He screamed, cried and followed me down the corridor every morning at daycare for a month. Eventually he adjusted. When John and I decided to split, we were also expecting Sidney and planned on sharing the house another year while he finished up the schooling and training he was doing. He had courses away from home and rather than leave the house and try to maintain 2 places, it seemed like the best solution. We didn't discuss it with Seth for many months, although he knew things were changing when his daddy started sleeping in the spare room. We were as open and honest as he could understand at the time. He accepted the fact that we were splitting much better than either of us expected...on the surface.
After we all talked about everything and Seth started to adjust to the idea, he would tell anyone that would listen; "my parents are getting a divorce!" "I am going to have 2 whole families instead of just one!" It certainly wasn't that simple for him. By this time, John was with Monica and I was with Doug. There was security in this for Seth. He likes the dual parent household. It comforts him. Things didn't stay that way in our world though. Doug and I split last spring and sent Seth into another little spiral. He spoke with a teacher at the Boys and Girls Club last summer. Someone he liked and trusted. He is so closed and dark sometimes. You can tell he is thinking about something, but he isn't willing to let us in to share his pain.
Seth recently had an outburst in class. What I mean is that he wasn't listening to instructions and his teacher spoke sternly to him. He sulked, and called her stupid. I will give you a moment to gasp! Anyhow, he didn't say it to her face. Another child overheard him and told the teacher. I received a call from her that she expected a letter of apology the next day. I had him write it out as I called Monica to fill her in. He waved the letter for me to look at, which I did when he left the room...
It was heartbreaking to read for me, I have to say. He said he was sorry for being disrespectful, but that he was upset because he wouldn't be with his new baby brother/sister it's whole life. He said also that he started wrestling more when Doug and I broke up--"just when I started to like him"(says Seth) and that he hoped she understood why he was upset. He said he doesn't want anything to happen with Mom and Blake and Dad and Monica. What it really comes down to is security. He doesn't want anything to change. Also, he has been feeling badly because he wants to stay at his father's for extra time after the baby is born. He didn't want to say anything for fear of hurting my feelings. He is all about being fair, making sure that Mom and Dad get equal time with them...he is conflicted.
I started bawling right there on the phone with Monica as I read these words to his teacher. How my heart goes out to him, so sensitive, so loving. I want him to always feel secure. It can be so hard to make any choice when you know it could potentially hurt your child. Monica said, "Oh Cori, you made the right decision leaving Doug. Things are happier for you and the boys now." This I know all too well, but it still makes me sad that Seth has been upset all this time.
We had a great talk, Seth, Blake and I. We discussed the situation with the baby. I told him that if he needs to spend extra time at Dad's to be happy, that was fine with me. Just come and see me sometimes so I won't miss you so very much...I want him to know that his feelings matter to us. Also, I don't mind the idea of having Seth and Sidney separated for some of the time. They fight and wrestle incessantly! They could use a little down time. I tried to reassure him of my relationship. No, we are not planning a wedding any time in the near future, but we are happy together. And, well, John and Monica are planning a wedding and they have a baby on the way...things are lookin good on that front too. He seems to be feeling more settled now. Here's hoping he will find a way to come to terms with it all.