To Do What Needs To Be Done
by Jessica Ehlers, November 19, 2011
The biggest news in the past month with the little man was that the he is doing great in school via the Parent-Teacher Conference. The little man is doing great in school and is learning and growing in all the ways a five year old should. The little man's dad and I sat and listened while the teacher raved about our boy.
It's big news not because I would expect any less of him, he is a very smart kid. This is of maternal significance because when his dad and I got divorced, I was pretty sure my boy as going to be scarred for life. Not because of anything violent or illegal but because of the anguish both of the little man's parents were in. There was a lot of interstate travel and lawyers and declarations and more money than anyone wants to admit to. It was not pretty. Not pretty for a long while. After it was over however, everything started to change. We were able to put aside our hurt and our anger and our blame toward each other because we wanted to protect our child from being caught in the middle. Of course he felt caught in the middle. What child of divorce doesn't?
Ultimately, I believe that all three of us are better for it. I am happier than I have ever been in my life and I think I can say the same for my son's dad. While we were married no one was happy. It was as if we had come together to create our boy but after that, we were destined for other things.
This was about my son's rave review in school though. It always comes back to him. That is the key to why I think his dad and I have been able to succeed to the level we have. We both put our son first and we have been flexible about how we can work together to parent our son. The mediator told us that even though we're divorced, we're still a family and early on, that made me wince but now I get it. The little man will thrive best if both his mom and his dad are there, cheering him on as he reads "Go. Dog. Go." In our case it is mom and dad and mom's boyfriend and dad's girlfriend and a pile of aunties and uncles and grandparents flanking him.
What is the lesson? As Oriah Mountain Dreamer so aptly put, " I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children." Because it's our job as adults to act like adults, even if we sometimes don't feel like them, even if our hearts are broken and we don't think we can go on.
It's a good poem, under any circumstances but especially now that the seasons have changed and the rains are upon us.