I can hear you Mom. I know you don’t want me to because you’re talking in your whisper voice or in another room, but I hear you. Even though I’m playing with my trains and you think I’m not listening, I am. I hear you. And I know. I’m five years old now, so I know a lot. I don’t understand all the words you’re saying. I don’t know what divorce or custody mean but I know you’re angry. One time, I was even on the stairs listening to you and Dad talk and you didn’t know I was there. I heard you saying my name and my sister’s name a lot. I heard words that I know are bad words because you tell me I’m not allowed to say them.
I know you are always tired because your face looks old. Older than the pictures when me and Sissy were little and your eyes were happy. I know you’re scared. I know because you have the same face I do when I see a monster on TV or when I think there is a ghost in my room. When I’m scared I climb in your bed and you tell me “It’s ok baby. I love you” and then I’m not scared anymore. Are you sad because Dad doesn’t say that to you?
I know when we do a big family hug together you don’t want to be in it. I know because when you hug me alone I feel your love. When we are in a big family hug, I don’t feel your love. I know you want to run away. Like when Great Gramma hugs me tight and I don’t like how her shirt smells and I want to run away but I don’t.
I know the only time you are Real Mommy is when Dad isn’t home. When Dad is home you’re Robot Mom and you are extra happy and extra nice but when I see your smile I know it’s not a real smile. It’s like when someone takes a picture and tells you to “say cheese.” That’s what your smile is like. I don’t like it. That’s why I’m bad and I don’t share with my sister and I don’t put away my toys. That’s why I yell at you and don’t listen when you tell me to do something. I want you to be Real Mommy. I don’t want Robot Mom.
I can see you Mom. I know that when you turn your head away from me it’s because you’re crying. Why do you want to hide? I don’t hide when I cry. When I cry you say “It’s ok baby. I love you” and then I stop crying. Are you still crying because no one is doing that to you?
I know you Mom. I know you’re so very sad. I know you want to be happy but you’re not. I am sad that you’re sad. We are a team Mom, just like you tell me. I know you love me and my sister. I know you don’t love Dad. I know when you say “everything is fine baby” you’re lying and lying is bad. I am five years old, remember Mom? I know a lot.