Last night, just before we put our kids to bed, our saintly neighbor Violet dropped by just to chat. I joked that she couldn’t be a serious NEGST student if she has time to check on the neighbors during exam week. She replied that sometimes she just feels in her spirit that she should visit people; most of the time there turns out to be some kind of issue or problem with which she can help them. In a lame attempt to be funny, I said, “we are getting a divorce; we need some marriage counseling.” Christi was not amused, and Violet looked puzzled, but then laughed, and that was the end of it . . . or so I thought . . .
At 2:30 am, Leïla (4) woke up crying, “Mommy, Mommy.” Since I usually handle all the midnight emergencies, I staggered into the kids room and asked, “What do you need?”
“Are you and mommy really getting a divorce?”
“No, Sweetie, your mommy and I will never get divorced.” (Then it dawned on me.) “I was just tying to make a silly joke. I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Good. But stay here, I need some snuggles.”
None of us slept well for the rest of the night. Christi hadn’t gotten up or heard the actual conversation but still couldn’t get back to sleep. She wound up just reading for the next two hours. As usual, Liam was up with the roosters, and I wound up having to do most of the pre-school routine by myself this morning.