Last night as I searched the internet for airline tickets for Thanksgiving, I was reminded for about the billionth time in my life that my parents are divorced. My mother lives in Gainesville, Florida and my father and step-mother live six hours away in Miami. I need to see both. I need to show the grandchildren to both. And I need to spend the same amount of time with both because they will be watching, ever tallying the amount of time I log in with both. (And to think I have problems with my kids yelling about things being equal!) This all translates into two full days of flying and two full days of driving. And since I want to make the trip worthwhile, I have to spend at least four days with each parent and suddenly our Thanksgiving holiday has turned into a two week vacation.
I have long since given up on the wish that my parents had a happy marriage. And now that I’m a married adult I can completely understand why people get divorced. If you’re going to literally go through life with someone, you need to love them a ton. You need to always encourage the best in each other, you need find each other enormously attractive for like, fifty years, you need to laugh together, you need to cry together, you need to have the same politics (with the Carville/Matalin marriage exception) or at least the same principles. For example, if you love to help homeless people and your partner loves to run over homeless people with his car, you don’t really have the same principles or even hobbies and therefore, you probably won’t have enough in common to sustain a long and healthy marriage.
So I totally get divorce now and how it’s a necessary part of life.
But what I never anticipated as a child of divorce is that I would be still be dealing with the ramifications of my parent’s divorce with my own children. It’s like here I am, all these years later, having two Thanksgivings, but with my little crowd around me.
And you know what? It’s not that bad. It even has it’s benefits. My kids get to visit two totally different places and have a bigger experience than they would if my parents were still married. And since they also have a step-grandma, they have even more people to love and fawn over them.
It wasn’t until recently that my kids actually put two and two together and figured out that my mom and dad used to be married. That just blew their minds. “Wait. E.E. was married to GRANDPA?” But it was great for my kids to understand divorce through their grandparents. They were able to get concept without the pain. It was kind of like, “Well, they seem happy now. I guess it all worked out for the best.” And they’re right. It did.
When I’m on the Florida Turnpike with three bored and fighting kids, it’s pouring down rain and we have four more hours to go before we get to Miami, I still think…
Oh my parents and their stupid divorce!!!!