Rosalyn get positively excited at the thought of seeing Daddy’s new house, and grins like a fiend while I slap her Hello Kitty hat (salvaged from Frenchy’s) back on her heard.
So, Daddy’s gonna live there now? He’s gonna sleep over and then come home?
No Ros, Daddy is going to stay at his place. YOU will sleep over there a few days a week. Then come home.
Rosalyn doesn’t get it, not really. She’s not naive-she’s just gloriously almost 5, playful and joyous, in clouds of her own making, full of children of her mind, kitties and puppies and bunnies to cure. (oh, please don’t ask about that last one. Online games, I shake my fist at you.) She’s smiles and wonder, a delight to be around, most days, aside from when she spills milk and pitches a fit that goes through the kitchen, up the stairs and on to the bed next to me and my still aching head.
We walk over, and on the way, she asks
If Daddy is at his place, who will be our new Daddy?
I’m amused and completely deflated by this question, the main reason I’ve promised myself I will not get involved with anyone to the point of meeting the girls for at least a year, if not more, liaisons staying outside of the house because questions like these? Not fair.
To her, he’ll just not be there. And while Vivian understands that Daddy is at his house, Rosalyn won’t understand until it happens, until the comics and the drums and the desks are gone from the other half of the house, until I begin to rearrange the house to match the newness, until they trudge over to his house in the cold night air, following the stairs to his oddly seventies styled new home. Until they lay down to sleep in a tiny room in a house I hope I can help get clear, surrounded by the few toys and books, and is Rosalyn’s case “new panties” that they love.
They walked around his new place, opened doors, looked out windows, insisted on trying the toilet, even as I grimaced, wondering what exactly was on the seat or, frankly, any of the surfaces in the place. The sought out the spaces that would be theirs while I marveled at this, a place he would be but I would, rarely, if ever be. How my life didn’t fit in here, and my brain actively resisted planning any images, where things would go, how things could be. It wasn’t my place.
I walked them into their room, small but cozy, and asked if they liked it, if they could imagine living here. Vivian just stared at me with her big eyes until I reassured her that she could maybe get posters with Daddy for the room, bring her things over. Rosalyn just continued to grin. A grand adventure.
Her small hand falls into mine as we walk, clad in soft white gloves, and I squeeze back. She still wants to be close to her Mummy. She still calls for me if something is wrong, waving everyone else off with a growl or a grunt. She squeals when I find Cookie or Brownie the cats. I ask if she has any questions, she shakes her head no so innocently I wonder if she means it.