Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The bright side of divorce

My oldest and dearest loves vacations. And since he is from a busted up home, he gets 2 vacations every year. I, of course, take him to the beach. In a house with walls and a bed, working plumbing, and a yard to kick the ball around when he wants. Of course, it has never been more than 2 blocks from the beach because what is the point of staying at the beach if you can't be close enough to hear it, right?

His dad, however, takes him to Idaho. To camp. In a tent. Without a toilet or running water, at least not one that they don't share with a shit ton of other crazy campers. Personally, this sounds like pure hell. My idea of camping is Motel 6 in a room with 1 bed and no roll away or refridgerator. But Mason loves that shit. They camp, I believe, right on the lake with all of his step-mothers family and friends. I can't believe my ex is doing this, either. He used to hate camping more than I do, but I guess loving someone means going along with their nutso ideas sometimes. Whatever the reason, he goes along with it, and Mason totally enjoys himself.

So this year, we left for the coast on Friday, July 25. We stayed and played until August 1, then drove to Portland to stay at Melissa's house for the night, and I dropped Mason off at his dad's on Saturday, August 2. They left for Idaho at "it's still too fucking dark and early to be out of bed o'clock" on Sunday, August 3. Then my ex brought him back to me on August 10. So basically, Mason had over 2 weeks of vacationing back to back this year. He has been so tired since he's been home.

You know, as far as step-mom's go, he is pretty lucky. She is my opposite in almost every way. She loves camping, I find it highly dirty and gross. She loves horseback riding, I find it boring and dirty. She is a scrapbook queen, I can barely finish the kids baby books without getting bored. She does artsy stuff with him all the time, I can barely draw stick people. She loves my ex, I could barely stand him thru our whole marriage. But I am very social, whereas she is not. I am a blogger, she is not. I stay at home and manage children all day, she works for a college. I have a highly amusing husband and so adorable in his cuteness and childishness, and she is married to someone who acts far beyond his age (I mean, he is boring. Boring boring boring. In my point of view, anyway.) Anyway, my point is that Mason is very lucky. He gets 2 mother's who love him and teach him things in many different aspects of life. If Sean and I had stayed together (shiver), his life would be very different, and not in a good way. He gets 2 dad's as well, and they are complete polar opposites.

For all the "poor kid, he is from a broken home" we give to kids of divorced parents, do many of us look at what he is getting by having 2 homes? Not only does he have 2 of ever holiday, I mean, who doesn't want double the Christmas and birthday presents?, he has 2 sets of parents. I know Mason learns how to get along with more than 1 set of rules. He gets tons of attention. He gets more grandparents than most kids get. I used to feel bad about ruining his world, but now I see that he is luckier than most. He sees how 2 very different marriages can work, how his dad and I talk regularly and get along better than most. He sees that we all stick together to make sure he is taken care of and provided for. He sees his step-mom and I talk and Jay and his dad talk, and knows that it will stay this way because we all love him so much. He gets a brother and sister that love him more than anything, and he knows that they love seeing his dad and step-mom, too. He gets 2 bedrooms full of toys, 2 game systems, 2 computers.

I know what we have created for him is special. I know plenty of kids from divorces that don't have it as good as he does. I know marriages bust up for pretty horrible reasons and the ability to come together to raise their child is impossible in some situations. But when a reason breaks up without any horrible abuse or anything, I don't know why differences can't be put aside for the sake of your kid. My marriage didn't end on great circumstances, I won't go into the whole reason here because it is very private, but we still agreed that for Mason, we would work it out and get along.

Both of our parents divorces were ugly. Sean's parents hadn't seen each other in almost 10 years when we got married, and my parents were still in the "I will kill you if I have to be too close to you" stage, hence why we had plastic utensils at our reception. Neither of us wanted that to be on Mason, so we put our problems aside.

I'm not saying we don't have arguments and disagree on stuff, but we work it out. And having us both married has made it easier on all of us. We take their opinions to the table, too. I'm not one to say to Jay "Back up on this, you are just the step-dad". He has known Mason since he was 1 1/2, and pretty much became his step-parent when Mason was 2 1/2, so he knows the kid. He loves him like one of his own. And I know his step-mom feels the same.

So now I think he is one of the luckiest kids. I know that if he gets married and it ends up in divorce, he knows how to handle it the right way. He knows that every marriage is different. And he also knows that divorce doesn't mean walking away and never speaking again. He knows with hard work, exes can get along and raise a kid together.

This year, he will be with us on his birthday. Then he will go home to his dad's and have another party. We've hosted parties with his dad before, with our families joined, and it was a lot of fun. I'm sure it will happen again.


Princess in Galoshes said...

Mason's really lucky to have parents like you guys. Kudos to you both for putting your kid first.

Beth said...

wow....what a legacy to give Mason. Seriously. My parents were divorced and my step-mom got along famously with my mom, they talked on the phone all the time. And my ste-p-mom treated my brother and I really really good. There was no difference between us and her own daughter. Wish I could say my dad did the same thing...but he didn't. Oh well.

Divorce is a fact of life, and while, ya, it sucks to tear your family apart...there CAN be a happu ending.

good job Mom!!!

Princess in Galoshes said...

"Guiness Stout Chocolate Ice Cream"

Dear lord woman, when can I come over??????????