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Laissez les crap temps rouler

August 30, 2010

First, a programming note: On Wednesday, Sept. 1, Moxie and I are going to be on TV. (I know!) It’s a new show hosted by Gov. Mike Huckabee that is thankfully less political and more Dr. Phillish. I think our segment went well—I remember John O’Hurley talking about how he owns a company that turns poop into propane or something—but frankly, the whole experience is still a blur. (Sort of like my wedding, come to think of it.) The show airs in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, New York, Minneapolis, and Tampa, and if you’re a resident of those Lucky Seven and would like to tune in, you can check your local listings here.

I think I remember the governor asking us how we’re able to write this blog, and Moxie did a great job of answering that question last week. I’m sure at some point we’ll be expounding on each of the elements on that list, and I’d like to add one more: We’re co-parenting better now because time has helped us move on and forgive.

We all know break-ups are terrible. Divorce with kids takes that feeling and vivifies it a thousandfold, because the person you once loved, whom you chose to be your life partner, is suddenly on the other side of the table. And because the kids keep you linked forever, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to spend your life tied up in knots of despair and loathing, or you’re going to understand how holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

In my case, it’s especially complicated when the other person is yourself.

I didn’t have many kind words for Moxie when our marriage first came apart. But when she asked for the divorce, it didn’t take long for me to realize that she was right. I had a much harder time forgiving myself for steering my life into such a mess. It took me a long time to let the crap times run their course, and finally frame this as an opportunity to make peace with a lot of Awful and dare to reach for higher ground.

Anyway, I hope you’ll watch the show because one of the other guests was Jonas Beiler, author of Think No Evil, the story of how an Amish community recovered after a gunman killed five little girls in a schoolhouse. You watch a story like that, and you realize that your own little story of love gone sour isn’t as big a deal as you might have thought. And that although the world may be drowning in poop, there’s a lot of propane to be made from it.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2010 7:42 am

    “And because the kids keep you linked forever, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to spend your life tied up in knots of despair and loathing”

    I really like the way you put that…it’s a great visual. And it kind of ties in with a truth I have been struggling with recently which is, you can’t control the person on the other end of the string. You can only control your end of the string. So, even if you are perfect, there may still be knots to deal with. To have a smooth string, both coparents have to be willing to work on those knots.

  2. August 31, 2010 9:27 am

    Perspective is a real b@#$% sometimes, but your words are so true. I’ve always enjoyed your humor, but it’s nice to get your fresh honesty here.

  3. Michelle Gray permalink
    August 31, 2010 11:20 am

    I am really enjoying this blog. My parents divorced when my sister and I were older teens so the need for co-parenting was mostly eliminated. They are both remarried and have been for longer than they were married to one another. All in all, we are lucky to have the wonderful extended families that we do. All parties have been wiling and able to accomodate life events, holidays and life in general in a respectable way. Still, their unresolved disappointment with one another has impacted our lives over the these years. I commend you two for being open and honest and working through these issues. I am looking forward to following your journey.

  4. leb permalink
    September 1, 2010 4:06 pm

    My parents split up when I was ten. The divorce was complicated by an immediate stepmother giving birth to a little brother. They made the decision to have joint custody. It was 50/50 physical time just like you. It was absolutely the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through and it’s still difficult (Christmas, weddings, etc). But I believe that was the best way to do it. I have a good relationship with both of my parents. They did a lot of letting it go in order to co-parent and they did a great job. They always kept a united front. I am certainly not without my baggage but in general I am a healthy happy adult about to marry my best friend. My three older sisters are all in happy marriages as well. We have learned a lot from our parents’ experience. It’s really fascinating and emotional for me to read about the experience from your point of view. It sounds like you both have your children’s best interest at heart and are walking a difficult road to be good parents. Thanks and keep it up.

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