is what Baby Girl, age 4 lamented today as she got into the car with her brother and sister.
She kept asking as we were walking to the car and as I was coercing the kids to actually "get in", 'why isn't daddy coming to church with us?'
Then she said, "He's supposed to come to church with us. We are a broken family. WE ARE A BROKEN FAMILY!!!"
Beloved was standing in the doorway of the house with Baby Boy in his arms. He asked what she said and I told him and he looked surprised and said, "why would she say that?!" I just looked at him. I wanted to say something (like, 'DUH, I wonder?!'), but it was just too sad to hear those words coming out of that sweet little mouth.
As we drove away she started to cry and said, "We are a broken family because Daddy doesn't sleep with us. Or eat breakfast with us. Or go to church with us."
I thought she forgot about it, but tonight she gave the prayer as we knelt as a family. And she asked that Daddy would be blessed and safe as he drives to his friend's house. Then after she said 'amen' she got up and looked at him and asked, 'why don't you live with us anymore?'
She said a lot of things tonight to him. And I think a dressing down by a four year old is a lot more powerful than any one I could have given. Some of what she said to him were:
why don't you live with us anymore?
you should sleep with us.
you shouldn't sleep at your friend's house.
why do you want to sleep at your friend's house?
you should just live with us.
you should come back.
just come back.
our family is broken because of you.
you should come to church and have breakfast with us.
you are breaking our family apart.
I know. It breaks my heart to write this. And it isn't all. It's all I could remember, and at one point I decided I needed to give them a little privacy so she could cry and be mad at him and he could deal with her on his own.
I don't know what to think about how he handled it. He tried to comfort her and talk to her. When she said 'our family is broken because of you' he quietly responded, 'You're probably right'. Which I wanted to say, "What 'probably'? There's no 'probably'! She IS right!" but I didn't, of course. And of course, as is typical of Beloved lately, he completely missed the point and kept saying that he never eats breakfast with the family because he is always at work by then. I felt like explaining, 'she's not complaining about breakfast. she's complaining about your lack of presence. she misses kissing you good morning and hugging you goodbye. she misses waving at the window as you drive away.' But I kind of feel what is the point in saying those things. I don't know if he even would hear it right now.
On the upside--I am feeling very well. Woah. That was totally self-absorbed, wasn't it? "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" and all. Sheesh.
I am going to see how to handle things with Baby Girl tomorrow. Big Boy and Big Girl act like nothing is going on. That can't be healthy. They are going to see their school's counselor soon. I talked to her about what is going on and I think after that we'll know what next.
As always, please pray for my kiddos. But also (again, as always) please pray for Beloved. That his heart will be softened to his family and that he can begin to gain some clarity of mind, some discernment, maybe.