Written By Sara
Sara is a single mom by choice to an over the top third grader, Will. She’s chronicling their ups and downs together and what she’s learning about herself at the same time.Read Her Blog "DIY"
I have a social kid. I’m thrilled about it. Now that he’s getting older, he makes friends whereever he goes – the park; the coffee shop; the walk-in clinic (he really loves going there!). He particularly likes older kids. You can see his energy level just ramp up the minute there are older kids in the room. I really do love it.
What I’m finding a challenge is the question…. ‘Where’s his Daddy?’. It’s funny, I’ve thought so much about what I’ll tell Will when he starts asking but never about other kids. Right now, he’s very, veeeery into all things ‘daddy’. Big sticks are daddy sticks; big pieces of apple are daddy apples – you get the picture. If he says Will’s daddy – I say, ‘Will you don’t have a daddy but who do you have?’ He smiles and rhymes off all the important people in his life (which now includes Jeff from the Wiggles). For the time being, it works for us.
But when a 7 year old asks me that question, I freeze up. The quick answers that come to mind just don’t seem appropriate.
a. I don’t know but if you have his number, hand it over!
b. Probably at the bar drinking with your daddy and hitting on chicks?
c. Running the United States of America but shhh don’t tell Michelle.
None of these seem right, so essentially the convo goes like this…
“Where’s his daddy?”
“He doesn’t have a daddy.”
“What happened to him?”
“Nothing. He just doesn’t have one.”
Then they generally look at me like I’m nuts and drop it. Here’s the thing – in much the same way Kath doesn’t want to tell other people’s kids to believe or not believe in god or ghosts- I don’t want to give sex ed classes to other peoples kids. I also know that this explanation won’t always suffice. The odd time I have to resort to the ‘you need to ask your mom’ and leave it at that.
It’s starting to hurt my heart that he’s going to have to answer that question one day. I picture him flabbergasted in the schoolyard trying to explain that his mother couldn’t find the right guy so she picked some random guy to be his dad. This sounds all well and good to an adult but this sounds ripe for the teasing to a bunch of ten year olds.
I guess we’ll both just have to figure that out as we go along. And I’ll try not to humiliate him in other ways so that can be the one thing he gets picked on about.
But back to the original question – “Where’s his daddy?” – What would you want me to tell your kid when they ask me that at the park??