Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted. ~Paul Pearshall
The blog title “Guess How Much I Love You” is the title of a kid’s book. (really though I think it’s a parent’s book). I came across this book on the shelves a few weeks ago. In case you don’t know the story, it’s about a Dad and Child rabbit “competing” to prove that they love the other more.
I used to read this book to Z frequently. Every time I did, tears would well up and I was filled with emotion.
There were a lot of lessons in this little book…all implied in this “contest”. It was always a bonding moment between us. Even when he was so young that he didn’t understand the words, he would snuggle a little tighter. When I read this to him, I was filled with a sense of completeness and content. I would think about the family that I loved…how good it all was. My daughter, then a teenager was developing her own life and on the journey to the beautiful woman she is today. My son was beginning to have his own personality. My wife, who I loved with all of my heart was my partner for life. This was my family…and it was perfect.
If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable – each segment distinct. ~Letty Cottin Pogrebin
One weekend when Z was about 15 months old, we were being bachelors. My daughter was off with her biological father. X was off on a photo expedition with J. Z and I were just being Dad and Son. I was reading the book to him on the sofa as he leaned into me….and he asked me to read it again and again. This had never happened before. At the end of the book, I looked at Z and told him I loved him more than all the stars in the sky. He looked me square in the eye and said…”i love you more”. I was a bit taken aback, Logically I knew that he did not understand this emotion, but he seemed so earnest. I thought he was just mimicking the book.
X and I had been having some tensions between us then. I did not know what was wrong, but really didn’t think it was anything except the stress of a new child and all the exponential time carving that this required.
I found out not too long after this, that while I was reading this story to Z…X was engaging in her affair with J. I was being supportive of her photography interests…and she was betraying my trust while I was home holding down the fort.
The dichotomy of emotional variance that this causes even now is tremendous. I was home, bonding with our son. Making sure that the roof was over our head. Supporting my wife in her interests….and all the while the absolute and complete trust I had in her was being betrayed as I was being duped.
This post really is not a step backward…but seeing that book and experiencing the range of emotions that it caused is a trigger to that pain.
X and I got past that first affair…and we (I thought) were on the road to recovery. The vision of my family stayed whole. Until 4 years later, when, she did it again. The betrayal was doubled, tripled… squared ad infinitum.
How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being. ~Oscar Wilde
As the paperwork is processed through the system…and the divorce becomes closer to the reality of being final, I find my psyche rebelling against all of it.
I’ll get through it as we all eventually do. I have a wonderful woman in my life. My kids still love me. My daughter has lost faith in her mom’s integrity. J’s kids describe him as a douchebag. All truisms. Many of them are sad realities….but realities just the same.
When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part. ~G.B. Shaw, Getting Married, 1908