Thursday, December 06, 2007

Somebody, please put me to bed...

I'm still praying that my friends won't be needing these titles, but someone else may (sadly), so here they are:

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce
What About the Kids? Raising Your Children Before, During and After Divorce
and, for extra fun: Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce

I found all three to be excruciating reads, since I'm in the midst of a divorce myself. A circumstance which I didn't see coming, would certainly not have chosen for my children and can't seem to force myself to be happy about. All of the above are well reviewed, extremely thoroughly researched, and in my opinion, absolutely necessary reading for adult children of divorce as well as any parent contemplating putting an end to his or her marriage. Even if you'd rather be biopsied with a grapefruit spoon, if you're in a related situation, read these books. Send them to your friends and family. Christmas is coming up, you know. Now there's a way to make sure you'll enjoy a lively discussion around the tree.

I don't know what to say about them by way of reviewing them. Except that there are so many misconceptions about how everything in the world of divorce and families works. Someone has to take this seriously, someone has to see these kids as they are, stop the "happy talk" and deal with their reality as it stands. Quickly. Before they grow up, maintaining high internal ideals for themselves, intent on not making those mistakes of their parents, but going on to do the same or worse, because they can't understand the rising tide of panic that tastes like bile. They can't see themselves as they are--often ill-equipped to stand in the midst of the regular stuff of life.

Being as objective as one can be under the circumstances, the interpersonal issues here fascinate me. The predictability with which certain things unfold, the choices which lead to havoc or haven, how kids turn into adults who seek out and also create healing. All are enormously complex and yet simple as can be. Maybe a little like fractals. Or how I imagine fractals are.

How about some happy thoughts? I'm grateful for a warm bed with flannel sheets. The opportunity to sleep, perchance to dream of nice things and people, maybe even a less complicated place to be in life. Also, Q is out. The girls went down quietly tonight. G is making progress with work he'd rather pretend isn't there. Piano recital is tomorrow night and they're all well prepared. I'm still here and in (checking...), yup, in one piece. I can't say enough how grateful I am for the folks who, when things get really weird or nuts or overwhelming, are just kind. Thank you all for reminding me that I'm not crazy. And of course, with the horrible floods in the Northwest and shooting in Omaha, I'm glad that the people I love are all safe. I sure wish I had something besides good thoughts and prayers to offer to those poor folks.

Well, the kitchen is as clean as it can get without waking people up with the noise of it, so I'm off to bed. I'll have to post an honest to goodness update later.

One more thing--I could use some prayers for not puffy eyes in the morning. Maybe by the time the kids are up? It's been a tough evening. Stuff Which Must Be Done sometimes leaves a person a little raw. Yuck. And then there was the phone call from the other side of the state about my grandfather. My grandma was called to his side earlier this evening. The care facility thinks it's only a matter of time. Of course, the last time we thought that was in the summer. We all got there as quickly as we could, only to find him cracking jokes, slurping milkshakes (with help), and grinning at the touch of little squirts' hands. He just lit up when Q laid his head down on his great-grandpa's shoulder. He's a tough old rancher, pilot, engine-repairing, tool-selling guy. But mostly, he just wants to see Jesus.

Uh-oh. The eyes might be puffy after all.....

Hope y'all are well and snuggled in tight with your beloved tonight.



Lisa said...

Your puffy eyes are a gift, an outward sign of your big heart:-) Rest well. I will be praying for you as you requested.

Yes, I am also so glad my family is safe tonight after that aweful mall tragedy. Extra hugs for all.

Jen said...

As a two-time survivor of parental divorce, I commend you for reading these books as a divorcing parent. In the midst of the transition, parents can easily forget that what is a difficult season for them appears to be a new way of life for their kids, because, well, they are kids, and don't have an adult perspective. If divorce is hard for adults (which it is), imagine how much harder it is for children who don't have the maturity or emotional development to handle all the change. I agree with all your recommended reads, and again, commend you for reading them now, even though it's difficult to take in. One more resource I'd recommend is (regardless of your spiritual affiliation). The unfortunate reality for those divorced with kids is that many of the issues that drove the marriage apart still exist after divorce (basically anything related to parenting). When the parents aren't committed to creating stability and consistency, they make a bad situation worse for their kids. Tammy and company offer valuable help for parents to work together post-divorce.