ellie just woke up from her nap a couple minutes ago. she walked into the living room in the middle of an episode of house hunters international. the home buyer was a divorced dad who just happened to have his small daughter visiting during the scenes playing as ellie came in. i was pecking away at the keyboard of this laptop, spaced out at the screen, when she asked, "why is she waving bye to her daddy?"
"because she doesn't live with him," i answered absent-mindedly.
the next thing i knew, she was in tears over how the little girl didn't live with her daddy.
"doesn't she miss him?!" she asked, cheeks wet. "i would miss daddy."
"oh, sweetie. her mommy and daddy aren't married."
"but why aren't they married? i will miss daddy..."
"i know. i know," i said, taking her in my arms. "it's sad, isn't it? did you know that my mommy and daddy aren't married? they don't live together either. it's very sad. but i promise -- PROMISE! that me and daddy will always live together."
i don't like having to explain real-life hard stuff to my tender-hearted four-year-old. isn't there any way to protect her from it all?