I’ve been pondering a bit on divorce recently (not specific to myself, you’ll be pleased to hear). William has two quite close friends at the moment, both of whom have divorced parents, and both of whom, like Will, are only children.
J, on the one hand, has parents who maintain an extremely friendly and fairly close relationship, despite both having new partners, while A’s parents (more recently, and very bitterly, divorced) barely tolerate each other, and communicate almost exclusively via email.
The common denominator in these two cases, is that the children’s time is split 50/50 between parents. J’s parents reached an amicable agreement about this, while A’s slugged it out in court very acrimoniously (and EXTREMELY expensively) and the judge ruled in favour of shared custody.
Now, one never knows what goes on in someone else’s relationship, so I don’t really have an opinion on either of these cases, but what has struck me, and I’ve found myself thinking about again and again of late, is how absolutely devastating it must be to only spend 50% of your child’s life with them.
Childhood is so fleeting: I cannot believe William is nine – so grown up so quickly, and unbelievably, probably half the years he will spend living at home are already gone. I can’t imagine the pain of knowing that I could only spend every other Christmas or birthday or weekend, or even day, with my son. The alternative (remaining married) must have been even more horrendous than this: my mind boggles.
And every time I think about this, I count my blessings again and again.