Thanksgiving. The time of year you spend with family. Also the time of year that missing family members stand out even more than usual.
Thursday was great. We host holiday things in our home because there is no way in hell we could take our demon seed anywhere else and expect to leave with their house still standing. Whoever shows up, shows up. Whoever doesn't, doesn't. We're cool with that. all of us. or so I thought.
Until Alex dropped a bomb on Friday.
Friday, Alex's Mommy and Sister came visiting. Everything was good, we visited- she bitched about Daddy visiting, I bitched about Daddy not visiting. Then we grabbed the kids and sat at the table to eat pizza. Me, Mommy, Sister, and Alex sitting at the table. Mommy was telling me about when Daddy came to "visit" Sister and they made him take Sister somewhere to actually spend time with her instead of harassing Mommy. He took her to Chuck E. Cheese and came back swearing it would never happen again because it was a 2 parent job. I asked Sister if her Daddy took her to Chuck E. Cheese and if she drove him crazy (yes and yes), I asked her if it was fun (yes), and then I hear a quiet, unhappy voice beside me, "all gone."
Shit. He knows. Why did I think he wouldn't notice? or care? What do I even say to that?
I look over at my sweet boy with his downcast eyes watching his fingers run through the ranch and over his pizza before grabbing a piece of pepperoni to pop in his mouth. He doesn't look at me, he doesn't say another word, his expression is blank and I can't tell what he's thinking.
Sitting there looking at my boy, no doubt whatsoever that he knows, I remember when Walter had no daddy. I remember the hurt, the anger, the confusion, the blame... and I wonder, is Alex feeling that? Does Alex wonder if it's his fault? My fault? Do I need to explain to him that he is absolutely perfect and daddy's douchebaggery is completely on his own self-centered self? Do I need to reassure him of how much I love him and that I will never leave him? Do I need to remind him that he is loved? Cherished?
I want to call his daddy and tell him what I want to tell him. I want to tell him what a piece of crap he is and to get over here and at least show his hateful face, give his son a hug, maybe even clip his son's freaking nails while he's at it. I want him to know that his son knows and the feelings his son is feeling because he can't spare even a few minutes on his way home from work, even though we are on his way home.
but I seriously doubt it would make a difference. And even if it did, a wise woman once told me that no judge would force visitation on a parent who didn't want it because if they had to force it... you would never want a child in that situation. It would not end well.
I don't need to reassure Alex that his is loved and wanted, he already knows.
My heart aches and the only thing I can do is match his careful expression, his quiet, even, matter of fact, unhappy tone, "yes, buddy, your Daddy is all gone."