Some words, said angrily and hastily without any thought, and a sweet little boy is crushed. I wasn’t even speaking the words to him, but to his father.
“If you chase me for the back child support, I’ll go to jail” says his father.
“Well, if you aren’t going to pay I don’t care if you go to jail.” I say, and hang up.
“Mommy, why do you want daddy to go to jail?” Asks my oldest son.
Crap. How do I redeem this. I’m the worst mommy in the world. I just hurt my son. What do I say to my sweet, innocent little boy? This being divorced thing is still new to me and I want my kids to love their dad even though I think he’s a jerk. I don’t have very long to give an answer to my son, but I have to respond carefully.
“Sweetie, I don’t want your daddy in jail.”
“Well why did you say you did?” He asks.
“Do you remember how sometimes when people are upset, they say things they shouldn’t?”
“Yes” he says.
“Well, that doesn’t make it right, not at all. But mommy was upset and said something she shouldn’t have, and something I didn’t really mean. I’m sorry.”
My son nods, and I know he understands.
“You’re the best mommy in the world. I love you.” He gives me a big hug.
I think I managed to restore his trust, and at the same time teach him that sometimes, even though they shouldn’t, when people are angry, they say things that they shouldn’t, even if they don’t mean them. I hope that makes me a somewhat decent mommy after all.