I am a child of divorce.
My parents divorced when I was 3 years old.
My first memory is that of my older sister and I playing with her toy horses at the kitchen table while our dad was loading up his truck with boxes to move. Later, my dad would load up my older brother and I to move with him (my sister is from my dad’s first marriage, my brother and I from his second). My dad, brother, and I would end up moving in with my future step-mom, while my mom would end up moving back to her hometown five hours away.
My dad married my step-mom when I was five years old. I think that might have been the best thing to ever happen to him (besides me, of course ;P).
My step-mom is not the wicked step-mom of fairytales. Yes, she is a force to be reckoned with, but only when she needs to be. She has a good heart and a fierce love. I have been blessed that she chose to bestow this fierce love upon myself and my brother. Yes, chose. For she did not have to love us (although, how could she help it…we were quite adorable). She COULD have been the wicked stepmother of fairytales. But she wasn’t and for that I am ever grateful.
I am also grateful that my parents did not stay together for the sake of my brother and I. I am grateful that they were strong enough to know that enough was enough and that it would not be beneficial to them or to us for them to stay together. Yes, it was hard when I was younger to understand why my parents chose not to live together anymore. And while I never questioned that my parents loved me, I always questioned whether they still loved each other (which they assured me that they did, just in a different way).
I now understand that for them to have stayed together, in a love they no longer felt for each other, would have been pure misery. For if they had stayed together for the sake of my brother and I, we would have been witness to this misery and might not know what a healthy, functioning relationship is.
Instead, they made the hard, brave decision to divorce, and for that I am forever thankful. Because of their decision, I know what a lasting love looks like (today my dad and step-mom are celebrating their TWENTIETH anniversary!); I have an amazing grandmother in my step-mom’s mom, who is probably the best person I know; I have a little brother who is no longer that little! (He’s 15 and at least a good 6-8 inches taller than me).
So thank you, mom and dad, for NOT sacraficing yourselves for my brother and I.
And congratulations to my dad and step-mom for twenty years of an inspiring love.