I began the new year away from my son. Since his father and I have split, we have worked out a custodial arrangement that has him going back and forth between us every few days or as schedules dictate. I’m not 100% certain this is the best idea, however, it is what has to work for right now.
This NYE, I wanted to be by myself. 2009 was insanely difficult and I needed the time to just be one with myself and bring in the new year freshly focused. However, I missed my son. Yes, he would have been asleep when the new year began, but I would have been awakened by his groggy voice saying “Good morning, Mommy” and I would have felt him climb into my bed, get under my covers and snuggle with me. It would have made me feel like my year was starting off on the right note.
But it wasn’t meant to be. I saw him later in the day and at one quiet moment, he whispered, “I missed you Mommy” and I said, with a hug, “I missed you too baby”.
I worry about how this divorce will affect him. We are so familiar with the negative statistics about Black children growing up without having both parents in the home. We know how negatively affected Black boys can be growing up in divided homes. I just can’t stand the thought of my son being so affected. His father and I have a very amicable relationship, especially when it comes to the children, but still I sense something is off. His babysitter told me that sometimes he would just sit in the corner quietly, or crying softly. Or maybe he would cry “I miss my mommy and daddy at home”. At 3, he shouldn’t have to deal with this. He should be thinking about colors, numbers, and spelling his name. I hate what we are doing to him. Really and truly.
For now, I do my best to stay connected. I have a new job, and that’s been absorbing a lot of my time and focus, but I’m doing my best to juggle this new position with being a great, dedicated mother. It’s harder than one not in this position can imagine. I suspect it would be a lot harder if I did not have such a good relationship with his father, or even moreso if his father were not around. But this is not what I planned for my son, so now I have to figure out how to make sure he doesn’t fall victim to any of the negative predictions our Black children face by virtue of them growing up in splintered homes.