Five years old—that is how old my firstborn is right now. When I was his age, I finally started to comprehend what it meant to have divorced parents. Before I started Kindergarten, my mom tried to explain to me that our family was different. I really didn’t understand what the big deal was at the time. Then one day at school, I was asked what I did over the weekend, and my answer was, “I went to my dad’s house.” Apparently, that wasn’t a typical weekend for everyone.
I was about 18-months old when my parents split up, so my memory of their marriage is pretty non-existent. I honestly am unaware of all the details, but I can probably guess what happened between the two of them. Dwelling on the cause of separation, though, would not have helped me in any way. And I thank my parents for doing their best not dragging me into their personal issues.
Too Young to Understand My Divorced Parents
When I think about how much my son is able to connect separate thoughts and result in a new idea, I get blown away. But it probably shouldn’t surprise me. In my early school-age days, I remember thinking that my parents must have divorced because of me. I mean, they must have been happy enough to get married in the first place, and then I showed up and somehow ruined the party. There were nights when I would bring these thoughts up to my mom, and sometimes tears accompanied them. Each time, I recall her reassuring me that the reason for their divorce was far from having me.
What Mattered Most
Despite my parents’ differences, one thing was for certain – they loved me. I always knew they loved me by how they showed it to me. We didn’t do anything too elaborate, and I didn’t have all the toys I ever wanted. What I did have, though, was the gift of time. At home with my mom, we grew to become best friends through late-night talks. At my dad’s, we enjoyed Laker’s games on TV and solving different types of puzzles together. Both Mom and Dad attended my school programs, and they were always civil. On a rare occasion, we would go to a restaurant and enjoy our version of a family dinner. I never wished for my parents to get back together, most likely because I didn’t know any different. What I did know was that I had two parents, and they both cared about me enough to set their differences aside to spend their time with me.
Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage
I truly believe that my childhood has definitely shaped my ideas of love, marriage, and family. I have faith that couples enter into marriage believing in forever and “’til death do us part.” As fate would have it, both my husband and I come from broken homes. Our marriage isn’t perfect. It is something we work on every day. We pray for our marriage to be blessed and ask for guidance through rough patches. We remind ourselves of the love that blossomed many years ago. Our children know we love them every day. And for me, that’s what matters most in any family dynamic.