I don't even know where to start. My sisters and I happen to be very lucky women because our parent got the co-parenting thing right. They are loving, supportive, caring and all of the things that we typically think of what a parent should be but they also don't let us get away with anything. From childhood to adulthood, they have disciplined. Obviously it is in a different way now, it is through listening and responding with honest answers. They tell us their opinions even though they may be very contrary to ours. I know that I can tell my parents anything and although they may not want to hear anything or everything, they will listen.
My childhood was amazing. Family vacations, movie nights, putting barrettes in my dad's hair....we were a very solid family unit. Neither of my parents were fixed in the bad guy/good guy dichotomy. Sometimes my mom would be the disciplinarian and other times it was my father. I can't remember thinking that one was the fun one and one was not....they were equal. When I was 13 though, they separated and eventually divorced. This was and still is one of the biggest challenges that I faced and still face today. I know that it changed my path of life, I have no idea who I would be if they had never divorce (not saying that it would have been better or worse). It was very difficult for the three of us in our own ways. But because they made an agreement when they decided to start having children, they never faltered in their co-parenting. I know that most people I have met with divorced parents cannot say that...I know some of my peers were dragged through lengthy custody agreements. But my parents did not do that. I can't even imagine how hard it was for them to put aside their disagreements and hurt feelings to put us first. Yes our lives changed but their involvement did not. It was important to them that we live in the same house we grew up in and eventually my dad bought a house about 7 blocks away (my mom loved that). Like I said, we are very lucky women.
Going to my parents when I was 21 to tell them I was pregnant was another difficult time. I didn't know what their response was going to be, but they showed me that even when you think you have created a huge disappointment, they become better than they were before. They are now amazing grandparents. When I could no longer afford to live on my own after Parker was born, they both offered my small family to come live with them. When I decided to move back to Cincinnati, it was hard for them to let us go, but they knew it was best for me. They are amazing. Parker is one of the luckiest little boys because of them as well. He has a very unique bond with each of them, my dad fills his lack of a father figure and when he is sick, he often calls out for Grandma Patti. They succeeded and continue to succeed in their jobs. I know that looking back at our childhoods, they wonder if they would have done something differently if they would have been better parents, and I know that both of them will read this, and no, you both did what you thought was right and you did great.
Back to their divorce. Like I said about it changing my path...I came to a realization that (this is going to sound really REALLY weird) but I am okay with the fact that they did. If they had stayed together my life would be lacking the other people that are my family. Both of my parents have partners and I can't imagine not having their partners in my life. Both Pat and Lilia are very important to me and I love them dearly. They both offer their support and love as though we were their children too. The course that my parents marriage and divorce had taken enriched my life. Now trust me, it has taken as very long time to come to that conclusion and if you would have told me I would think that way 15 years ago, I would have laughed and probably told you to eff off. I know that the scars from their divorce will always be with all of us, but, for me, they are no longer open wounds.
I love you Mom and Dad......Thank you.