DEAR SON

swing chain bw

My dear son. Your birthday is coming up next month. The special day falls on a Saturday when you and your sisters are staying with me. We will celebrate together, the four of us. Not five as before. This year is different. This year is the first year after the divorce. At five years of age, you are too young to understand what that means now but one day I hope you will understand.

One day I hope you will see why I could not come to the other birthday party. The one your father’s girlfriend will be arranging for you. The one they wish to host at what was previously our home. Your father asked me today to come celebrate your birthday, saying you would like the entire family to attend. In an ideal world, this would be possible. However, the world is sometimes not fair and choices are made which forever change the way things will be in the future.

My wish is for you to have a happy time celebrating at your other home, without the stresses and strains of this new way of life. You will have your school friends to play with as well as your sisters and soon-to-be step brothers. I know it is your desire we all celebrate together. Your innocence is endearing. Your smiles and laughter are infectious. Though I will not be there, you will and are always in my thoughts.

After your party, you and your sisters will come back to your other home as it is also the weekend when you three stay with me. The weekend two weeks after your actual birthday. We four will have a nice time together. You will tell me about your party and I will listen, but please understand why I could not step back into that house. The house that was once mine, ours. The place you learned to crawl, and then walk. The house where you scribbled all over the walls with whatever crayons you held in your little hands. That house is no longer mine, but it is still yours.

Your birthday will be here soon. You asked me to make a carrot cake for you. I am delighted to bake a cake for you with a recipe of my own. We will enjoy the cake and put six candles on top for you to blow out as you make your wish. I know how you love cakes. I know how you love building, both Lego sets and puzzles. And I know you know how much I love you.