She is home from her weekend visitation with BioMom.
Her Mother calls out as She walks away.
No, Don't. BioMom shakes her head. Don't.
I am sitting on the couch with The Mouse. The livingroom windows are opened so my ears are privy to this suspicious exchange between Cinderella and BioMom.
Cinderella opens the front door and greets us.
My curiosity piqued, I break a cardinal rule and violate #3 & #4 on the Children of Divorce Bill of Rights.
Don't, what, babe?
Her face shows the tell-tale signs of a child caught doing something they know they shouldn't be doing.
Oh it's nothing.
I know it's more than nothing. If it involves her Mother, it's definitely SOMETHING.
I ask again.
My gentle prodding brings forth a flood of tears and insistence on Her part that it's Nothing. She doesn't want to talk about it.
I try to reassure Her that I am now concerned. Her tears are upsetting me. She does not cry for no reason or over Nothing.
Cinderella stands firm. She does not want to talk to Me about this.
Then she says it.
It's between Mommy and Me.
Cinderella has never said this before which leads me to suspect She was prompted to say it if questioned.
I know I am wrong for asking. It violates Cinderella's right to privacy. She has a Right to have conversations with her BioMom and She does not have to share them with us.
It's difficult to give Her that right to privacy knowing full-well that Her Mom is not modeling the proper behavior. She is not teaching Her the proper values. That she is teaching Cinderella to keep secrets, be deceitful and hide things from Her Dad and Me.
We have to give Cinderella the Freedom to have these conversations with Her mother. And trust that despite Her mother's influence, that We are raising Her to do the right thing.
I know what I must do.
I must apologize to Cinderella.
Apologize for upsetting Her.
Apologize for asking about something that was none of my business.
Apologize in an effort to restore Her trust in us and in Her right to privacy.
Apologize and remind Her that we have Faith that she knows the difference between Right and Wrong.
We cannot control BioMom. We can only do our best to raise Cinderella to be strong enough to stand up for what's Right.
Strong enough to know that one day that may also include standing up to her own Mother.
Updated to add that I DID apologize and, as a result, Cinderella DID clue me in on the "big secret" right in the middle of my apology.
(Turns out it wasn't that big of a secret after all and somewhat of a misinterpretation on my part.)
(I'm sure there's a lesson in there about eavesdropping but we're talking about Cinderella, NOT ME!)
Cinderella also confessed that she knew she had made a wrong choice about something over the weekend [parental guilt wins again!], which went totally against something her Dad had asked her to do while she was visiting BioMom. Something which BioMom constantly overrules him on and tells Cinderella she can do the OPPOSITE and that her Dad can bring it up with Her if he has a problem with it fuckyouverymuch. Cinderella knew it was wrong and felt she needed to let me know, despite what her Mom told Her.
That's one good kid we've got here.