I am sitting here at Peet’s in Pacific Heights and right outside the window I am witnessing the dreaded “exchange” that happens between parents when there is divorce and there is a child involved.

Child in tears.
Mom looking helpless.
Dad looking helpless.

Finally parent one drags off the crying child.
The other parent left alone with her own tears left to absorb the looks of strangers who now pass her by not knowing.

I can only imagine that God weeps for us at these times.

It is amazing what seeing this scene does to me.  Be it in movies or in real life, these things still get to me.  I remember those times.  Caught in between parents whose feelings have turned to anger.

I remember not understanding.
I was never mad at either one.
I remember mostly being sad.

I like to think that being a child of divorce made me independent and self-sufficient.  Yeah, that’s what it did. – awkward pause –  That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

My family (my mother, my father, myself) have come a long way in finding a relatively healthy place – 37 years, three awesome grand daughters and a saint of a step-father will do that – but no matter how one tries to handle divorce it always, always, always sucks most for the kid.  My parents did a pretty job, all things considered.  They didn’t talk bad about each other.  I saw both families.   Sure, there were some rough patches and times when they didn’t much like each other, but I have never doubted their love.

This post is not an anti-divorce statement. I am pretty sure my parents would have made each other miserable – and driven me crazy – in the long run.  This post is more of a plea for those parents who are going through this.  I have recently been made aware of a really bad one happening to family that we know and yet again, anger and pride are being played out through the child.  Maybe in the long run – and I am talking years decades – people may be the better for it, but in the short term, no one no one no one wins in a a divorce.  Outside of getting out of an abusing relationship, I dare say everyone loses.

I see this child in question: tired, distracted, and unable to cope, learn, focus.  This poor kid is lacking a spirit of joy. No child should go through this.  No child should be put through this because of the inability of their parents to think beyond themselves.

Dear parents,
Get over yourselves and get your crap together.
Please.

As I am writing this, I am filled with two emotions.  On one hand, I am filled with sadness for kids who are in emotional pain and can’t simply be joy-filled kids.  And on the other hand, I am overcome with deep deep gratitude for my own children who – just this morning – reminded me just what being a kid is supposed to be.

. . . . and God’s weeping turns to laughter.

Shouldn’t this be how it is for all children?

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