Saturday, July 2, 2011

Growing Pains: All grown up

I woke up one day and realized I am not interested in what my ex is doing with his wife, as long as it doesn't affect 1) my children; 2) my child support, and 3) my plans. This is a true growth moment.

Our teenage daughter is tall, growing more lithe by the day, and had her eyebrows waxed as a gift from her Aunt last week. She is getting older. Our 7 year old son is having 'talks' with his 12  year old cousin, and counseling him, usually ending in encouraging him to pray about the things that they have discussed. He is growing in faith and wisdom. They won't be babies forever.

Our children are what keep us in communication on a personal level, as divorced parents. We work hard to iron out communication differences between ourselves so that we can raise healthy happy children, because we already feel we have slighted them by failing at marriage. We deal with each other more kindly because of them, but there is also an underlying camaraderie between us while we parent together. Small triumphs, victories, laughter over funny moments, joy over successes. Moments parents share in.

Slowly but surely, the relationship becomes more about the children and less about what we had together as a family before the divorce. The communication between us is becoming singularly about the children. Reaching milestone ages and events in their lives cause me to face the inevitable day when there won't be a reason for us to have that relationship. That is part of the change and growth of a divorced parenting situation.

This also got me thinking in terms of how I want to spend the latter years of my life. Do I want to be married again? I know I asked that question of myself a few posts ago, but I have to be sure I am being honest with myself. In my pondering, a better question is am I ready to date. I found out after asking myself a few real questions that I am not. I haven't reached that growth point yet. It would be unfair and selfish of me to date anyone if the purpose of dating is to entertain a possible future relationship. I am currently unwilling to give even 50% of my attention to another person.

So, while growth comes on some levels, it remains stunted on others. Living divorced is a continuous journey of revelations and successes. And some setbacks. But it is yet living.

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