The kids and I were sitting on my bed, "hanging out" and Luke asked me "What's the saddest day of the year?" and Alyssa immediately said "when daddy died" because whenever she hears the word "sad" she thinks of her daddy. There was a little banter after that and then Luke said, "I know what it is....it's when Auntie Kim and Jesse leave". After a minute I said "the saddest time of the year for me are the days around when daddy died" and then I went on about that for a little while.
So that background gets me to the reason why I am writing....the conversation that followed was totally surprising to me and it gave me a little bit of insight into Luke, who rarely mentions how he feels about what happened with Joe.
Luke looked at me and said "Is that guy in Jail?" and I was surprised to hear him say that because I have never heard my son use the word "jail" in any sort of context that made sense. I honestly did not know he even know what jail really is. I told him, no, but some people think that he should be. Then he said "I think that he should be". I asked him why he thought that and he said he just thought he should for what he did to daddy. Then he went on to ask me where he is now, where he works (I gave him no specifics), what he looks like, how old he is, etc. Then he told me that if he ever comes here (to our house) that he's going to punch him in the face. I have never heard Luke say anything like that, ever. Anyone who knows Luke knows he is very mild-mannered, sweet and would never hurt anyone and would feel terrible if he did. He went on....
He said all of this stuff with a small smile on his face and I could not tell if he was just being age 7 and "experimenting" with the idea of hurting someone and what it would be like, or if he really is angry at this guy and wants to hurt him. He said he wanted to throw a trash can at his head. He said he wanted to throw him in the pond, throw a tree on his face. He looked at me and asked me "mommy what could I do to him that would really hurt him?". Alyssa was on the bed listening to him too and then she asked "Luke are you really going to do that stuff?" and I said "No, he isn't" and Luke said "When I'm big I probably will. When I'm 18."
The conversation lasted about 10 minutes which is a long time for Luke to stay on the topic. I told him many times during it that the guy didn't mean to do what he did. That he made a terrible mistake. That I was mad too and I don't like him either. I told him that the guy feels so sorry for what he did and that he would do anything to go back and change it (I don't know that to be true at all, I just cannot deal with the thought of my kids thinking that the guy isn't sorry, so that's what I tell them. For some reason I have this feeling that I want them to trust that people in general are good....and not have in their young minds know yet the cruel nature of the world). I told Luke that no matter what we do to the guy or how much we hurt him, it would not bring daddy back. Luke said he knew that, but he still wanted to hurt him.
Then I asked him, "Luke, what if the guy said to you: 'I am so sorry Luke about what I did to your daddy. I am so sorry and I think about it every day and I'd do anything to change it. I wish it didn't happen and I made a terrible mistake. I am so sorry for you and your sister'". I asked Luke, if the guy said that to you, would you still want to hurt him? and he thought about it for a little bit and I could tell he was going back and forth in his mind.... and then he said:
There's a lot I've left out but that was the general tone of the conversation. My poor son, he remembers so much which is a blessing and a pain. He and Joe were very close and I can't believe he is growing up without him. It's not right. At least he is expressing something. I want to respect his feelings and let him talk and not tell him he should feel differently, but it's a strange situation for me as his mother. I would not allow him to say that he wants to throw a trash can at anyone else's face, as his mother I would tell him that is wrong. And it is interesting for me to hear his reaction and feelings towards the guy and how he wants to express what he is feeling (in other words, that he's mad so he wants to physically hurt him). I try to figure out how much of it is his real feelings and how much is that "hey, mom is not telling me to stop and this is fun to say these things that I am usually not allowed to say". I don't know if I am making sense. But I wanted to remember this conversation so that's why I wrote it down.