I don't talk about the Ex a lot, and we all know the good reasons why not. But I have said more than once, I believe, that he's a good guy. He is a great dad. He tries hard. He is smart, and can be generous and funny and kind.
About once a week, more or less, he also calmly mentions that if it weren't for the kids, he would most definitely not be here. And I am trying to be subtle, but understand I don't mean "here" as in this town, or this country. Think more globally. He says he doesn't see the point. Life is misery, and he will never be happy. So why bother? Although I know there are many people who have been and would be his friends, who care about him, I have seen him pretty much dismiss all of them or simply neglect to maintain a friendship. His moods are like a washing machine on the fast spin cycle.
This is what I am afraid of. I am afraid that one day he will forget that he loves the kids more than he hates his life. I am afraid that this misery is inherent, something glued to a gene, something that can't be washed away. When I watch my Boy dismiss a friend because of nothing at all, or insist that it's an awful day, or that no one likes him, I am afraid that it isn't because he's 6, or having a bad day. I am afraid that his unhappiness is writ in blood.
On good days, I tell myself that fear is a magnet, fear is a cloud, fear is a lie that I can hold at bay with my clear intentions. I am more stubborn than my fear.