Luckily, Riley didn't seem to notice his lack of calling on her actual birthday, and I let the day go without saying anything to them. But I knew I had to tell them. I knew I had to tell Sylvia before the party.
I met with my therapist, and we talked about how much to tell them. I did not want to lie for him, but how much truth could they handle? Not to mention, the actual charges were still unclear to me.
We decided that I would tell them that X was in jail, that he'd broken the law, and now he had to face his consequence for that.
Sylvia cried and yelled and professed his innocence. I said that most of the time, people don't get arrested unless they did something wrong. She continued to cry and yell and profess his innocence.
Riley stayed quiet and didn't cry. She asked a few questions, but mainly just repeated what I'd said. She looked more upset that her sister was so upset than anything. She hugged me.
Sylvia finally calmed down and went to bed. It was a night that we were all glad to have over.
The next day, I went shopping for the goody bags. Amazing how life keeps going forward sometimes.
At their birthday party, as much fun as they were having, every time the door opened, Sylvia turned and looked for her dad.
It was so hard to be the hostess that day. Thankfully, the party was at Under the Sea, where everything is pretty much run for you. I don't think I could've handled thinking that day. Watching Sylvia broke my heart.
On the way home, I asked them if they had a good time. Yes, they said, "but Daddy didn't come," Sylvia added. All I could say was, "I know, honey. I know."