Posted by admin on October 2, 2017

Exits and Entrances

You can’t choose who your kids love – their hearts and hormones do that.  And you can’t  choose who they stop loving, either, or when.  All you can do is watch as the romantic vicissitudes of their lives reverberate through the family whose – omigod! – matriarch you seem to have become.  So when they found  partners  to spend their lives with, I first exhaled and then exulted. And when things changed, I cried not just for them but  for my own losses, too – another daughter, another son, other peoples’ grown kids who by then had also become my own.

When my son married, ,  I praised his wife with very faint ‘damns’ but  was the very model of a modern, encouraging, supportive mother-in-law thereafter. Six years later when they filed for divorce, I was sad that history seemed to be repeating itself – not only my son’s, but his father’s and mine, too.   So it came as a shock to me when  my ex-daughter-in-law and I got to be friends – after they were divorced. I don’t mean just polite to each other, I mean really good friends, who go to concerts together, never miss a chick flick and check up on and in with each other on a regular basis.   I’m still not sure how it happened except that she grew up after their divorce (okay, maybe I did, too), and we somehow were able to reach out and cut each other enough slack to create a real, mutual and loving relationship.  I  really respect the effort she and my son have made to be better as co-parents than they were as partners. And when my  daughter’s marriage ended in divorce, too, ten years and two children later, I was even sadder because I miss my son-in-law, a man who not only delivered my first granddaughter on the bathroom floor when his wife said the baby was coming Right Then, but stayed behind to wash the floor   before he followed them to the hospital. I’ve  called and written him, though not as freely as I once did and I miss his family, too;. Should I e-mail or call them? If I did, what would I say? What could I say, except isn’t it too bad, isn’t it sad ?I miss the  private hope this marriage represented,  that they’d escape the legacy of their own parents’ divorces and not repeat it themselves. I miss them as a couple, as I realize again that even though my kids’ former partners may some day be replaced in their lives, they won’t be in mine. And of course, I worry about my  grandkids,, even though their parents keep reassuring them that Mommy and Daddy still love them and their lives won’t change.

Except they will, of course.  And so, again, will mine.


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