I am a child of divorce and consider myself lucky. If there were a search for the perfect divorced family I would sign us up, as long as it had nothing to do with reality TV. At age three my parents separated for good. Aside from the occasional inappropriate comment from an aunt or uncle, I know very little about what caused the divorce. My parents kept those details to themselves and I am thankful for their discretion. I am sure their parting was horribly painful, but there have been clear benefits for me. For starters, I am thankful I did not grow up in a house filled with resentment between two people no longer in love staying together for the kids' sake. I had plenty of sleepovers at homes like those growing up and had no desire to trade families.
My brother and I split our time evenly between Mom and Dad. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, switch. Thursday, Friday, switch. With alternating weekends, of course. This created an appreciation for the time we had together, and a natural inclination to make it count. I learned to value my parents as individuals, and built a strong relationship with both.
Switching homes constantly no doubt led to my excellent packing skills and ability to live out of a suitcase. My Dad's revolving door of girlfriends taught me how to get along with almost anyone. My parents' dating and the fact my mom remarried expanded my support system and brought many more positive relationships with adults in my life.
And I learned something important about love. One day in the car my father told me that when he married my mom he made a vow to love her forever. He explained that forever didn't mean until divorced. We talked about how love can change. In many divorces it changes to hatred, but my parents focused on the love they shared for their kids. I had one of the best childhoods of anyone I know and I'm living evidence that divorce doesn't necessarily have a negative impact on a child's life.
One day I hope to marry, have kids of my own, and create a loving home for them. Something tells me my parents gave me all the love and skills I would need to do just that. I only hope I can do it as well as they did.