The end of "Happily ever after"
I got married for the first time when I was 25 years old and then I married for real (and for the second time) when I was 35. Ten years passed between the two marriages and I often wonder if I was the same woman I am today back when I was 25.
I have the feeling that in the same manner we see our kids grow, we ourselves grow too, we continue growing day after day. It never ends. So maybe one day I will be an adult, I am still hopeful.
I never cared to tell my 6-year-old daughter that I was married once before. It actually didn't make much sense, I had no kids then and my first husband is not in my life, not only that, but she's already way to obsessed with the fact that her Dad married someone else before me--and had a kid with her. And please note that when I say the word "obsessed" I mean that the questions never seem to end,
"Why did Dad marry J? Was he in love? Then why did he divorce her? What did my brother do when this happenee? Why do people fall out of love? Why do people get divorces? Why is it that Emi is my brother if he's not your son?"
It never ends. Every so often she comes to me with a new set of questions, based on the same subject. And the other day when we where on the plane and I was hoping to doze out while my 2 year old was napping, Juliana asked me bluntly, "How come you never told me that you were married to Pablo before my Dad?"
My eyes popped wide open and I immediately replied crazily with 20 questions of my own, "Say whaaaaat? What are you talking about honey? Where did you hear about that? How do you know his name? Who have you been talking to? What else do you know?"
Yes, I am an idiot with the worst reactions, but she took me by surprise.
It turned out that my sister-in-law (my brother's wife) whom I love very much, had told her the story. But at that point the information of "why and how" was very scarce. I was going to have to wait and land, but mostly I had to face the music on my own.
So I said, "I got married very young and then we agreed on not being married anymore but we are friends"
To what she replied, "If you are friends I want to meet him."
I explained to her that she couldn't meet him and then she continued, "But Camilla (her cousin) knows him, did you know that Pablo is neighbors with Camilla's grandparents (my sister-in-law's parents)?"
At this point I paused and thought to myself: "Yes Camilla knows him and yes they're all neighbors and yes they're all friendly, and mostly yes, his sister is my best friend whom you very well know, but that doesn't mean you're going to meet him and stop calling him Pablo like you two are friends or something".
But for her, the answer was simply, "Maybe one day"
Then she started over, "Is he handsome? Is he nice? Does he have kids? Did you have kids with him? Did you get married in a church? Was your dress nice? Did you love him? Did he love you? Does Dad know him? Why does he know him? Does Emi knows him?"
And this lasted until we landed. I was exhausted by the time we got on a cab.
When we got home I called my brother and asked, why did you guys tell Juliana about Pablo? He said to me, "Oh shit… we figured she knew and she was asking us a thousand questions about love and couples and divorce, so we figured it was OK to put all the answers within her life context"
Great I thought, because her life context isn't complex enough and doesn't already bring millions of incessant questions.
In any case, in the end it was all OK, she now knows that both her parents were married once before and she now knows that both her parents aren't perfect, and she also now knows that people fall out of love, so there goes the first her fantasy--crushed for life.
I'm telling you, things were far easier when I was 6. But now that I'm over 40 and I have a daughter growing up so fast it's so f**** complicated!
And it certainly won't get any easier… so breathe in, breathe out…
When would you tell your kids if you've been married before?