I think life must be far simpler at age 6 than it is at 9. I also consider the truth that my children are not the same person and each reacts to life's challenges differently, individually.
For instance: My little race-car man capital L and italicized LOVES S. They have been fast friends since shortly after they met and watching them together and listening to their conversations makes my heart go thump-thump in my chest. So much love between them, and the love inside of me swells and surges up through me in response. My amazonian princess is a bit of a different story. Her reactions to S are more complex. She is very reserved with her affections for him. At first she was insistent that she liked him, but eventually her father informed me otherwise, which prompted some gentle conversations between us. Its not that I insist she like S, not at all. Her feelings are not mine to dictate. I'd rather have a loving conversation about how she really feels than waste my energy ruining our relationship and ensuring that she never share anything important with me. So we talk. Its not that she doesn't think he's a nice guy. She's not uncomfortable with him - but with the concept that I have a boyfriend.
(I hate that word, honestly. I'm in my middle forties. I really don't think boyfriend is the appropriate term, but we don't live together and we're not married, so partner isn't quite the right term, friend is too vague, and both lover and special friend are just too...ewww....so I continue to use "boyfriend." I just want you to know that I loathe it.)
Its not that she doesn't want S to be my boyfriend - its that she doesn't want anyone to be my boyfriend.
So we talk. And I hear her and I acknowledge her feelings. And I let her know, gently, that I understand how she must feel, still wishing that her parents were together. I say that I am sorry that we hurt her by not being able to stay married to one another. I say that I wish that it were different, but that it is not and cannot be. And I let her know also, that I love and care for her so very much. And that I am a grownup and that I am going to make grownup decisions for myself, such as having a boyfriend. And she is more than perfectly welcome to share her feelings about that. And we talk some more, and we hug each other and put our love for one another to words and we move forward. I hope that someday she is able to cognitively separate her feelings about me having a boyfriend from her feelings from S. In the meantime, this will do. She is friendly to him, if aloof, and she is not rude or disrespectful. I could not ask for better behavior, and I feel that all things considered, she's doing the best she can. Its more than enough for me.
I'm learning too to put a tight lid on my feelings in regards to parenting time. She loves her dad, so does my son, and their dad loves them. There are times they want to be with me when its not my parenting time and there are times they want to be with their dad when they are currently with me. Its hard sometimes to hear your children say, for whatever reason, that they'd really rather see their dad right now and not feel like you're failing at some level. Its hard to put personal feelings aside, but nothing else will do. Logic rarely informs the initial emotional response, and so I am learning to school my features carefully, to refrain from saying anything until I can put a smile on my face and into my voice and accept their feelings for what they are. Even when I wish they felt differently.
Its not just that I hope there is payback for this someday in the form of being loved more than the other parent, or that there is some sort of karmic return (although I wouldn't mind a winning MegaMillions ticket, thankyouverymuch) for being a good person. I think maybe the motivation is more along the "do no harm" scale than anything else. Common sense and experience tell me that if I attempt to dictate or control my children's feelings that I will be harming them, unforgivably.
Its just more of the growing pains of being a parent, I suppose.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
~The Prophet, Khalil Gibran, 1923