Saturday, August 2, 2014

It's Universal

Something that happens to all of us. Unless you are that couple who fell in love at first sight as toddlers and never left each others' sides. Does this actually happen? Anyway, I just listened to a repeat of This American Life featuring break-ups as a theme. Sigh. The segment with a nine year old girl talking about her parents' divorce struck me in a tender spot that I am surprised is still there. I am forty years past the first time my own parents split up. It's such a normalized part of my history that I usually give very little thought to it. But hearing Betsy's child voice describing her feelings took me back in time to my own experience of learning that I was about to become a child from a broken home. Broken home. The way I often heard divorce described at that time. I was not surprised to learn that it is more common to be a child who is a survivor of divorce than a child who has not had this experience. My own two children are included in this majority, making it less a statistic and more of a reality, a reality I have personally lived through. My experience as a child did have one positive effect, though. In light of the fact that my own parents' divorce was very disruptive and traumatic, it was of paramount importance to me that my divorce should inflict as little pain as possible on my kids. Making me the generational sandwich filling on the divorce delicatessen menu. My ex and I were grownups and sheltered the boys from the adult business that through no fault of theirs would impact their lives. So that they could continue to be kids. That's how it should be. It's enough that they have weathered their own inevitable break-ups. 

No comments: