Friday, July 24, 2009

Good Guys and Bad Guys

Oldest is going through a bad breakup. And by bad, I mean heart-wrenching, gut-churning, devastatingly bad. It is hard, as the Mama, to see your child in pain and have no band-aid, no quick fix. Barely even any words of wisdom, though I do keep trying.

He dated this girl for four years- that's all of high school, if you're keeping track. Started dating her in December of 2005, and absolutely thought he was going to be one of those guys that marries his high school sweetheart. Chose a college based on its proximity to her college, even. Letting go of all these hopes is proving a daunting task for him, and he's visibly shaken.

It's the middle of the night right now, and everyone's awake. The Man is awake because computer problems have kept him from finishing his work, Middle Child is awake because... well, it's probably a combination of what she claims is true, which is that some mystery bug keeps buzzing her when she dozes and yet she can't find it to dispose of it, and what I believe to be true, which is that she's over excited about her new haircut. Small One is awake because of a bad dream, in which a blue slimy monster with small eyes and big teeth tried to bite her. I am awake because all these other people are awake. Oldest is awake because he's falling apart over the break up.

I was taking Small for a post-nightmare potty trip, when we crossed paths with Oldest in the kitchen. As I tried to reassure him that this too will pass and he'll live through it, she chimed in. "It's going to be ok! You going to be ok! What's the matter? You going to be ok?" She gave him a hug, which really did nothing to help him regain his composure, and I took her to the potty.

As she sat down, she asked me what was the matter with her brother.

I said "Well, Girlfriend is not being very nice to him." (I'm calling her Girlfriend for the sake of preserving her near anonymity. Small One is VERY attached to this girl, and I've been puzzling over how to break this to her, since the complexity of relationships is beyond her realm of understanding.)

Small asked "Is she being very BAD to him?"

"No," I replied, "She's just not really his girlfriend anymore."

"Oh," she nodded, as if she understood completely. "Now she's a bad guy?"

Uh oh. I forget how black and white it all is to a near three-year old. "Not exactly." I responded, trying to figure out how to explain it in a way she'd understand.

She was confused. "She's a good guy?"

I tried a different direction. "He's just sad, that's all. He doesn't get to see her as much. Do you get sad when you don't get to see your friends?"

She nodded very seriously. "Yes, I do. And then I cry." She visibly brightened and said "I cry like this: WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

I'm not sure she's got a grasp on human relations, but she does tell a good story.

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