Lights were out. The room was falling into that calm, quiet space where toddlers go to sleep while mamas cuddle them, taking those last few minutes to cherish their growing babies who they spent only a few hours with that day because of work.
That’s when it happened… the conversation that made me scared to date again.
“Mama,” Princess D’s voice broke the silence as I continued to rub her back.
“You need to call my Daddy… and tell him you have a boyfriend.” She turned her big brown eyes to stare directly in mine. I swear she was examining my face, judging my reaction.
My breathe stopped. “Who’s my boyfriend?” I asked, knowing and fearing the response at the same time.
“Blahblah,” she said with a big smile. (Obviously his name isn’t “blahblah” so obviously I’m not going to give his name.)
“Baby, Blahblah isn’t my boyfriend anymore. We’re just friends. You know that,” were my soothing words of explanation. Not soothing enough. Princess D broke out into serious sobs and real tears. “What’s wrong baby girl?”
“You need to have a boyfriend, Mama.”
“Baby girl,” I said, “I don’t need anything else but you.”
And it’s true. I don’t need anything else or anyone else. Still, my heart sank at these words. Not because she thinks I need a boyfriend, over time she’ll learn we don’t really need a spouse to succeed in life. My heart sank because I know how attached she got to Blahblah, after six months of him being around every weekend. My heart sank because I know how much she misses him.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t too. For God’s sake, I have horrible nightmares about him betraying my trust. It’s ridiculous and I wish I could control it but I can’t. Three months after we broke off a six month relationship these dreams haunt me. Damn you subconscious!
But more troublesome than the dreams is that Princess D still wants him in our lives and that he did kind of break her heart as well as mine. And it’s made me petrified to date again.
Blahblah is the only man I’ve dated since Baby Daddy. And he’s the only man who’s been in Princess D’s life in that “father-figure” role. We hiked, we canoed, we played together, he chasitized her when she wasn’t listening, and she loved it all. I know she wants that daddy figure and as much as I know she doesn’t need it because she isn’t lacking in love or security, I know deep down she wants it.
About two months after Blahblah and I broke up she told me she dreamed of us being boyfriend and girlfriend again so he could be her new daddy. It’s kills me to hear her talk like this. So I’m torn. I want to give her that daddy figure but I don’t want another man to come into her life and break her little heart again. Or mine for that matter.
*sigh* So what do I do?
Do I date in private, constantly hiding my relationships until I’m sure it’s going to be that one that’s never ending? Or do I never date again so I don’t put my sweet little angel in danger of being heart broken again? When is the right time to introduce your kids to a new love? Or is it even worth it to try a relationship when you have so much at stake?
Thus, I find myself just as afraid of dating as I was before, but it’s no longer about the intimacy now it’s about the heart broken toddler that wants nothing more than for mommy to find her a daddy. Something I’m also afraid I’m never going to be able to do.