Last night, Ethan and I were leaving the football game, walking behind a dad and his young daughter. Ethan turns to me and says "You know what makes me so sad? When I see other kids with their dads and I don't have mine." FUCK ME SIDEWAYS! How in the hell am I supposed to respond to something like that????? What am I supposed to say? It was all I could do not to bust out crying right there on the sidewalk. It completely caught me off guard.
In the 14 months since DB moved back to America, Ethan hasn't talked about him at all. Never asks about him, never mentions him, nothing, ever. DB calls every once in a while and E will happily chat away, but when the call is over, it's like it never happened. I've tried a few times to bring up his dad, but I may as well be talking to him about the lifecycle of broccoli for all the interest he shows. He's showed no ill effects of his dad being gone, he's the same happy, laid back kid he's always been, so this comment totally surprised me and nearly left me speechless.
Eventually I said, "Well, I bet your dad loves you more than any of those kids dads!" Maybe not the best response, but I was literally at a loss for words, scrambling to find the right thing to say, wanting to ease his pain, while at the same time wanting him to know it's okay to be sad and to miss his dad. I went on for a few minutes about always having his dad in his heart, and even though they're not together they'll always be a family, blah, blah, blah. But in my head I was digging DB's brain out through his nose with a chopstick.