Thursday, 28 July 2011
my new job
it was a title handed to me very abruptly and with absolutely no fanfare. we were standing outside of SEATAC airport when Molly grabbed me, cuddled me and told me that she was going to miss me and that she loved me. then she said it... Step Mum. a job title that Muffin had joked with me about for months prior to our day of wedded bliss, but that had not actually sunk in until that tiny bundle of seven-year-old brown hair and blue eyes uttered those words and broke my heart. it broke my heart mostly in a good way though, in a way that made me swell with thoughts and ideas of the future. a future that stars Danie, Muffin and hopefully more-often visits from Molly.
a future that's beautiful, fun and that i fear may be so terribly entangled with stresses, confusions and hideous lawyer fees that i all but broke down after all the wedding-week bliss dust had finally settled.
the concerns started as tiny stabs that actually made their initial appearance in April whilst we visited California. the stabs were constant and didn't take their toll on me entirely until after the last tiny hug at the airport. the whole of her time here was punctuated by questions from everyone in my family asking me why Molly called Muffin "Daddy Muffin." the constant nagging from my too-young-to-understand niece and nephew to explain why she didn't just call him "Daddy" completely tore me apart, not just because of my new job title, but also because of my new relationship status... i now feel even more obligated than i ever have before to protect Muffin from any pains that tear his little heart apart, and this topic causes him more pain than anything else in his world, it makes his eyes leak like i've never seen and i wish so hard that i could have just said something to make it go away and stop the questions from firing at us.
i couldn't though. it's not possible to explain it away by simply saying that she has a step dad and because of that, she had to quantify which dad she was referring to because my nephew and sister were in the EXACT same situation twelve years ago. Evan was just under two and Carmen (sister) married Evan's step-dad. never once in those twelve years has Carmen prompted Evan to call her husband anything but by his name and never has he wanted to because clear lines have always been drawn on the difference between New Husband and Dad. clear lines that were drawn very cautiously by my sister (who is not typically one to be very conscientious of people's feelings) to keep from any hearts being broken and confusion to be had. it was one of the most perfect things i could have imagined she could have done in the transition BECAUSE of the way that i see this trainwreck of a name-assignment ordeal working out now.
i wish so much that i could say more, and that i could do more... i prompted her to call Muffin "Daddy" without any post-addition, but in HER mind, her daddy is her mother's husband... someone she married who now has his OWN child to call him "daddy," but still gets that very special present every single time she calls him that, that present that Muffin doesn't get... not even on his Father's Day card was he addressed as Daddy. Molly had addressed the Father's Day card to "Muffin," which, when i received the card in the mail, immediately made me want to rip the card from it's beige paper tomb so as to save him the heartbreak of seeing that his own daughter didn't call HIM "Daddy" on HIS day when i can only imagine that STEP dad got a card that had been very specially addressed to "Daddy" with NO amendments to his name... not even a "Step."
so, at the heaviest point in my heart, this is what i am carrying. the hurt on Muffin's face when his own daughter doesn't have even one thing sacred to only him, the most special thing, which is the title of "Daddy." i can visibly see his heart sink each time it's brought up and i hate knowing that he's been put into this position. i don't know if it's because of the way Muffin and his ex-wife separated or the way she is wired, but the absolute devastation that has developed as a result is horrifying to watch. i feel like i just want to be a protector and step in to fix things, but it's not my place, and as a "step" myself now, i have to know when i need to take a seat and let Muffin sort it out for himself because i'm nothing more than the extra to his lead in this play and i am only here to support him.
all other Molly-related issues aside, this one hurts the worst, so much the worst. this is the one i find it most difficult to approach with Molly's mum, who i am now much more friendly with, which has really offered a lot of insight and ease hopefully for the both of us... i guess at the end of it all though, i just feel helpless and like despite the fact that i have this new, shiny job title, there's not really much i can do with it that i haven't already.