While blasting Christmas carols in the minivan last December, my kids found a sudden interest in the words to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” The particular line, “what a laugh it would have been, if Daddy had only seen Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.”
“Why would that have been funny?” Asked my big girl, we’ll call her Beegee (BG).
I began to answer with the truth, “Because Daddy is really San… .” I caught myself from ruining the Santa Mystique and said, “Daddy would have thought it was funny that mommy was sleepwalking and kissed Santa by mistake instead of daddy.”
“Oooh,” said my little girl, we’ll call her Elgee (LG), with a giggle.
But BeeGee wiped away that humor, “If mommy was kissing someone else they would have to get a divorce and one of them would have to move out.”
I wanted to burst with laughter but obviously she had thought about what would put a marriage at risk.
Elgee wide-eyed asked, “Mommy, is that what would happen?”
“I suppose if I was kissing someone else, Daddy would be mad. But don’t worry, I think Daddy would understand if I gave Santa a kiss to thank him.”
The chatter went on in the backseat about other random items of importance.
Later Elgee curled up next to me on the couch. Eyes serious, she spoke just above a whisper, “Mommy, that thing we were talking about in the car, … well, um … I don’t want you and Daddy to get a revorce.”
“I won’t kiss anyone, Elgee,” I assured her.
“Okay,” she agreed her face relaxing into a grin.
I am not sure where they get their information about divorce or revorce. I am sure there are a handful of kids at school whose parents are divorced and I am sure that those kids are pretty much in total darkness when it comes to understanding the dynamics of their parents’ divorce. They know that my parents are divorced and my mother remarried but we have never really spoken about the details. I think kids just fill in the blanks with what sounds good.
Proof positive, the other night at dinner Elgee asked me why Grandma and Grandpa got a revorce. Beegee thought she knew the answer, “Grandpa used to let mommy and her sisters and brother eat all the candy they wanted.”
Choking back the laughter, I said, “He did let us have candy and so did Grandma and she let us eat Pop-Tarts and sugar cereal for breakfast. They got divorced for reasons that had nothing to do with us kids or what they let us eat.” (They fought about the dental bills! Just kidding.)
I know that they have very little understanding of the complexities interpersonal relationships. I want them to know their home life is more secure than a Snickers bar being consumed or daddy sneaking a kiss from the missus while wearing a Santa suit. Now if Daddy is wearing a Santa suit eating the missus’ Snickers bar, that’s a different story! Take my word for it!