We’re lucky just to be here, a wise person once said. The fact we’re alive, healthy and have wonderful kids is a true blessing that words alone cannot describe.
But for many of us who experienced the trauma of our parents’ divorce, sometimes you have to wonder how we even made it to adulthood. If you’re happily married and raising healthy kids who are active and well behaved, the contrast between the generations can make your head spin.
How lucky do our kids have it? Consider what today’s parents, raised in divorced homes, had to deal with during their formative years:
Their single most important institution, their parents, separated: Whether it was an irresponsible parent, incessant bickering or a drug habit that broke his/her family apart, our parents divorced and went on to live separate lives. Some of them remarried, prompting another dimension of complexity: step-parents and/or step-siblings. Normalcy ceased when our parents’ marriage ended.
The adults who passed through the turnstile of our childhood: It was not unusual for kids, living with a divorced mother or father, to have various adults come in and out of their lives. Sometimes the child in a divorced family cared and bonded with these ‘guests’ before the relationship ended between the adults, causing further confusion.
Other kids, who shared the same experience, responded erratically: Childhood friends and classmates who dealt with the anguish of their parents’ separation never responded in the same manner. Some were less outgoing than before, others dropped out of community and sports programs and some kids disrupted classrooms in response to their family’s circumstances.
Yet here we are, dads who are opting to live responsible lives as husbands and fathers, carrying a torch that glows brighter for the next generation.
That is not only worthy of merit, it’s also honorable.
To parent a child represents is a privilege and dads who do so is a responsible and consistent manner, compared to their parents, represent true father apprentices. It is the same for mothers who faced similar childhood circumstances.
And in some cases, we look at our older parents and wonder how we got through it all. We make ourselves a promise, sometimes to ourselves without ever mentioning it to our spouses. We will never let our loved ones down… ever.
And we’re doing our best to raise our kids in a healthy environment.
Freedom they say is not free, nor is marriage free from challenges. We work together with our loved ones to overcome challenges and preserve what is most sacred: a healthy and happy family.
Previously Published on The Father Apprentice