Children just keep getting older. And with that age comes more questions. Some of the questions are difficult to answer, like my son asking me about my parents.
He’s going to be seven in 3 months. It’s only natural that after being exposed to his grandparents on his father’s side and the other family on that side that he’d wonder about mine. He’s asked before, but I’ve managed to successfully dodge answering it.
Simply telling him that I do not have parents seems to have worked so far. He asks about my grandparents and to that question I will reply. But I have no parents.
No parents worth talking about.
Why tell my young child about the man who comes in and out of my life like a ghost? The one who I have made the decision to disconnect from because it caused me too much heartache to watch him father other children? He has not been a father to me for longer than he has been a father. He has a new family now and I want to be happy for him and support him. I fear that my constant need for validation would only cause him pain, so to him I have bid good-bye.
Why tell him about the woman who teeters dangerously on the edge of sanity? The woman who had been a great mother until something inside her snapped and everything disintegrated around us? This is not a person who would be a good role model for him: she has nothing to teach him. From her mouth spew lies and suffering. I will not subject him to that.
So I tell my child that I was born from a tree, like most nuts. He’s too young to quite understand how that is funny but it seems to satisfy him when he asks.
I want to tell him of my family; of his heritage. How his great-grandparents grew up in British ruled India and went to boarding school. How we are Anglo-Indian and that’s why we look so white. Of the reason his mother loves rice and parathas. How his grandparents flew from India to England, and then took a boat from England to Canada. How his great-grandparents on the paternal side of me weren’t really in the picture, but seemed to have an awkward kindness about them. How disconnected I have always been from that side of my life. How he has an uncle who would probably spoil him to pieces although that uncle probably doesn’t even know he exists because of poor decisions on everyone’s part.
These things I can tell him once he grows; once he is ready to listen and perhaps understand.