"There are lots of ways that things can work themselves out, Mom. You just can’t see them all."

"There are lots of ways that things can work themselves out, Mom. You just can’t see them all."
"Follow the Mystery" courtesy of Alice Popkorn of Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

True story: About a year and a half ago, a longtime friend and I had a falling out. There were no fingers to point, no blame to pin in this particular schism. Things simply went off track, and we went our separate ways.

But the person hurt most by this “breakup” was my son. My friend’s son and my son had been thick as adorable little thieves - G was Batman to L’s Superman. But the feud between their moms was swift and unforeseen, so the playdates ceased without warning. The sudden loss of his best buddy was painful and confusing to my five year old: "Where did he go, Mommy?" I didn't have any good answers for him, and went with "I'm not sure where they went, but there is nothing I can do about it. We just have to wait and see if they come back, but I don't think they will."

The L-shaped hole in G’s heart didn’t seem to close over time, like I'd hoped it would. Had I not been a parent, I think I would have shrugged off his loss, and said “Welp, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Loss is a part of life, kiddo. And you're so young, you'll get over it.” But I am a Mom, and I was touched by how deeply he could be connected to another person at such a young age. Young kids are already 100% human, it would seem.

Months passed, yet the wound stayed fresh. Every so often, G would devise strategies for how he could track down his friend (I'll just go to his house and wait outside until he comes back), and I would nod at him in the rear-view mirror, then change the subject.

Me: Sometimes, people leave, G. I’m not going to say it’s not painful. I am going to say that I know what you are going through, and I’m sorry you are hurting.

G: I’ll find L again, Mom.

Me: I have no doubt about that, G.

And I didn't doubt it. Much. But I did doubt knew that it would not happen on my watch. The rift between L’s Mom and me felt pretty immutable, and I certainly wasn’t going to reach out. To do so would have felt disrespectful, as the new rules had been made clear: our friendship is no more.

Recently, G momentarily forgot the boy’s name, and panicked. I evaded the question, hoping the lost name might create further distance between him and his painful memory, but he would have none of that. He hounded me until I relinquished the name, which he then repeated over and over: a macho lullaby.


This morning, as I was driving him to a playdate, G mentioned L via an arrow shot straight into my Mom heart.  “When L and I were taken away from each other, we were never given a say in the matter. We never got a chance to say good-bye.”


I did my best to chatter away the discomfort, and he did his best to tolerate my pathetic verbal tap dance. He let me say what I had to say, then said:

Mom, it can still work out. There are lots of ways that things can work themselves out. You just can’t see them all.


I knew he was right. I know that there is something beyond me that keeps a veil on what I can and can’t see, then pulls it back bit by bit each day. I know that I have a limited understanding of what is possible in this world, and have never once been able to foresee with any accuracy which way life would turn next.

Me: I believe that, G. I do. You’re right.

Then he listed off some scenarios that maybe I hadn’t considered.

G: Well…this is the saddest one…but we might come back to each other once all the parents die.

Me: ...............true. That’s possible. But I imagine he could look you up on Facebook some day before that happens. Just sayin.’

G: Yeah. See? There are lots of different ways this can work out. You just can’t see them all.

I dropped him off at his friend’s house, and went to run an errand. It struck me as odd that, just yesterday, one of those Facebook flashback notifications had sent me the pics of G, L, and L’s Mom that I had posted two years prior. It was kinda strange that, one day later, G brought them up like that. Huh....

I walked into the grocery store, and there they were: L, his mom, and his dad.

When L’s Mom and I saw each other, L’s Mom said, “I knew I was going to see you today.” And we hugged. And we cried a little bit. And people in line got a little annoyed with the checkout line drama, and walked around us.

And then L’s Mom and I decided we were going to fix things. We are making plans for G and I to go over and have pizza with them. Soon.

So, yeah. What G said: There are lots of ways that things can work themselves out. You just can't see them all. 


That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thank you for taking the time to read my silly words. It means the world. Carry on...

Old Single Mom
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