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Dad’s gone.


I ran into my parents’ room, I was in my school uniform and needed mum to sign a piece of paper allowing me to take part in the upcoming sports day.

I noticed dad’s side of the bed hadn’t been slept in and I asked mum, ‘Where’s dad?’ realising I hadn’t seen him for a few days now.

She burst into tears, crumbling in front of me and I grew up instantly, knowing I shouldn’t have asked that question but saved it till later.

‘He’s gone and he’s not coming back. From now on he’ll live somewhere else and we’ll stay here.’

The enormity of the situation hadn’t quite hit home yet, but I felt it was serious. I could hear the boys larking around next door and mum stabbing at her eyes with a soggy tissue, ushered me out of the room and called the boys to breakfast.

Where was he then? Why didn’t he want to come home any more? What had we done? Where was he going to live?

Unstoppable questions started bouncing around the walls of my 10-year-old brain.

That’s going to make me one of those children ‘Of Divorced Parents’ I shuddered. One of the worst things that could happen. I didn’t want to be one of them with their special meal tokens and unable to do all of the school activities because they didn’t have the money.

At school later on the bell rang for morning break. It was a sunny morning and we made our way round to the 4th year playground. It wouldn’t be much longer before we moved on to the Secondary school across the field, something we all were looking forward to but that day I had no inclination to play and secondary school all of a sudden wasn’t as exciting as it had been.

Normally I’d be as loud and as boisterous as the best of them but I knew something terribly BIG had happened and I stood by the wall just around the corner from the playground as the tears started to fall down my cheeks.

I didn’t know quite what I was crying for but I couldn’t stop the tears and as they broke through my barrier more followed. Deep down inside I realised something had changed for good, life would never be as it always had been and dad wouldn’t live with us at home anymore.

Friends came over and tried to entice me over to play but I refused.

I didn’t want to play.

This was a first for me too. I loved playing hopscotch, skipping, kiss chase (never letting myself get caught though!) I loved to watch the boys flick their cards against a wall anticipating their landing and hoping it was on the other lads cards making a sure win. But not today.

Today I was all of a sudden a lot older than my fellow class mates. I had issues, life changing issues and I was now a ‘Child of Divorced Parents.’

Writing workshopThis post has been written for Josie’s writing workshop and I chose prompt 4. Share a powerful memory, or memories, from your childhood.

Together with the Plinky prompt earlier ‘The worst teacher I ever had’ and yesterday’s musings over my own children’s thoughts on how I handled my break up with their father I was reminded of that difficult day in the school playground.

Photo – LU5H.bunny

18 Comments leave one →
  1. 22/07/2010 1:38 pm

    A very well written post, very descriptive. Its funny how points like this in your childhood stay so vivid, sometimes even more vivid than the good times!

    • 23/07/2010 12:41 pm

      Too true!
      Although I do have some wonderful memories too. I don’t think of myself as hard done by and I didn’t have an unhappy childhood as my mother did her upmost to make sure we were happy and well looked after. But that is a true memory of the day I found out.

  2. 22/07/2010 2:24 pm

    That was powerful. Very well done. I hope you’re okay after writing this. It must have taken a lot of courage to share so much of yourself….

    • 23/07/2010 12:43 pm

      Once you start writing about a memory locked away the words tumble out at the speed of light and then once completed it’s over.
      I’m fine (thank you for asking) and pleased many liked this post.
      It was worthwhile and allowed me to test myself yet again.

  3. 22/07/2010 8:09 pm

    Awwww, hugs to you. I can tell how painful that was for you to write, but it was beautiful. My father was always away because of his work in the navy so I never realised for a long time that my parents were actually divorcing. x

    • 23/07/2010 12:44 pm

      Funny you should say that but on that day a thought that did flicker through my mind was the fact that he hadn’t been home for a while, we obviously found out much later too.

  4. 22/07/2010 10:14 pm

    Beautifully written, but terribly sad. I am sorry that you had to “grow up in an instant…” Hopefully it has all worked out in the end. Thank you for sharing such a poignant part of your life.

    • 23/07/2010 12:46 pm

      Every experience adds to the melting pot and although I did grow up that day as do many others in similar situations my mother saw to it that we had an enjoyable childhood and teendom.

  5. 23/07/2010 11:07 am

    Your post is beautiful and so poignant. Thanks for sharing. x

  6. 24/07/2010 5:00 pm

    Very well phrased. It must have been really tough for you *hugs*

    • 26/07/2010 1:09 pm

      I think I only realise how tough it was now looking back as then I had to be very British and ‘get on with it’. Still, here to tell the tale and smile too.

  7. 18/01/2011 5:53 pm

    It must have been difficult to relive those emotions and I commend you on your write. Great post

  8. 18/01/2011 6:04 pm

    I’m sure thinking back on this day must give you insight into your children’s feelings in the same situation. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. 28/01/2011 5:20 pm

    I want to give the 10 year old you a big hug. I hope things worked out better than you imagined at the time? Thanks for joining in Blog Gems. Jen


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