More Car Conversation

Eva, with all her curiosities, wanted to know why we live in Missouri.  Out of all the places in the world to live, she wanted to know why I had chosen this place.  I really hadn’t chosen Missouri specifically, I had responded.  I explained to her that I just never felt the need to move away because all our family lives in Missouri.

“Not all of our family,” she said.  “My dad doesn’t live in Missouri.”

I should have seen that coming, I suppose.  After a moment of thought, and holding my breath that maybe we could talk about the weather instead, I pushed on.  I agreed that yes, her father doesn’t live in Missouri.

“Why would he move away from all of his family?”

Should have seen that question coming, too.  I just spoke the truth as I see it.  I usually try very hard not to offer opinion when speaking of her father, but I did this time.  I said simply that the choices he has made do not make sense to me so I can’t help her understand his reasons.  Feeling bad for her, I said something like I was sorry that he was so far away because it is sad for her.  She agreed it was sad sometimes.  Then I asked her something I had never been brave enough to ask her.  I asked her if she gets angry at her father sometimes for moving away.

She said, “No, not really.”

“Why not?”  I couldn’t resist asking.

“Because, every year he gets meaner and meaner,” she said very matter-of-fact.  “I’m glad he isn’t around here because then I would have to see him all the time.”

My heart broke for her some more.  She is right, he is mean, but I didn’t expect this.  I didn’t expect her to be glad on any level that he isn’t here.



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