My poor little man is heartbroken, which in turn hurts my heart to watch. His brother is gone back home and he probably won't see him until Christmas. Nothing can prepare you for this kind of thing. No one tells you when you marry a man with a child(ren) that it gets more complicated when you add half siblings into the mix. There's no guidebook to explaining why the sibling has to leave across the country when summer visitation ends. Add this to why his daddy doesn't live here, and you have a really emotional 3.5 year old trying to process everything.
I try to be sensitive to this kind of thing. I come from divorced parents and stepsiblings. Mindful of this, I took a picture of Noah and his brother together so he'd have something to remember until he sees him again. I put it in his special picture book today with the other photos of him and our family. I thought he'd be excited to see his brother's picture today.
He was NOT happy. He told me over and over that he doesn't like his brother. He said he wanted to tear his brother out of the picture and he only wanted himself in it. He told me to use another picture to cover his brother up. He said he didn't miss him & he wasn't angry. And my heart broke a little with each declaration through out the day. I knew he didn't mean it. I knew he was missing his brother today. I just couldn't do anything to fix it.
I had tried preparing him by talking about before it happened. I tried to make sure he knew his brother was leaving to go home to his mom's house. We've always talked about how his brother lives at his mom's house far away on a plane. There's only so much you can explain to a preschooler and so little they can express back. I never once considered not saying anything and having his brother just not there during his next visitation w/his dad. I think being age appropriately honest and open with kids is best as it builds trust and communication early.
What's worse is that I'm sad for my son losing out on the benefits of a big brother the rest of the year. I still love my stepson too and I miss seeing him as well. Watching Noah play with his big brother is wonderful, and I'm so glad they love each other. I hate that it's only part time due to the distance.
Tonight my son finally crumbled after again insisting that I take his brother's photo out. I just hugged him and let him know it was ok to miss his big brother. I let Noah know we all still love him and his brother misses him too. I told that we would plan a trip to see him soon, and that when he was older he could fly with them to take his brother home. I asked if he was feeling angry and sad and all he could do was nod. Mostly I just let him cry and let him be angry. I still get angry too sometimes, and no, it isn't fair that life doesn't alwasy go as planned and creates chaos like this. I can't imagine trying to figure all this out at 3, when it's not always easy for me at 36. I just hope it gets easier when he's older. For right now, we're all just a little emotional here.