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Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

Today could have been long and arduous, but was instead a hidden gem.

No, I didn’t do this:

I would have loved to, but my day was a more peaceful one.

It stared with a 6:51 train (we call that TDE: Too Damn Early) into the big, badass city of Boston, and a green-line train to the Family and Probate Court in Cambridge for my divorce hearing. Now, before you get the sad eyes like somebody just died (I’ve seen quite enough of those, thank you!) you must know that we haven’t lived together for almost two years, and for both of us the marriage was over a long time ago. This mainly signaled the end of the mountainous mass of paperwork. We showed up well before the prescribed time of 8:30 and waited for things to get going. When showing up for divorce court, it’s important to take the whole day off, as you don’t know if you’ll be first 3rd, or 15th with a major battle in front of you. For us it was quick, easy, painless, and I was out of there before 10:00.

Hmmm…free day in Boston. What to do with such a gift? Well, here’s what I did:

I enjoyed a lunch of some spicy Thai fast food chicken thingy on the Boston Common while watching the people walk by.

I heard a dude in the Public Garden playing a hurdy-gurdy. Coolest instrument ever!

I browsed some of the insanely expensive shops on Newbury Street and thought, “Shit, even if I had a lot of money, I don’t think I’d pay $450 for that jacket!”

I sat at a table in front of Ben and Jerry’s, knitting a luscious alpaca cabled scarf and enjoying some incredible ice cream.

I was mobbed by a small group of senior citizens at Oak Grove station asking me questions about the aforementioned scarf project. An old lady…that’s right, an OLD LADY was amazed by my complex patterning (she’d have peed herself if she’d seen these!). Yes, my friends, I have arrived!

I saw a real live midget on the bus and…I PROMISE I’m not even joking…laughed my ass off internally as I watched him get off the bus at the Short Street stop in Melrose. I swear I’m not making this up!!!

Having come home earlier than normal, I spent some good daddy time laughing and doing stuff with my younger daughter while the other one was at a friend’s house.

It could have been a hard day. It could’ve totally sucked. Many people’s divorce court days are, I’m sure, quite awful. For me it was simply a chance to finish a process and enjoy a gorgeous autumn day.

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Dad

First off, let’s get past the obligatory “Happy Father’s Day.” You’ve all heard it so many times today, but I would feel totally unAmerican if I didn’t say it too. There you go.

Father’s Day means a little something different for me than for many of you. With the divorce rate being what it is, there are probably a growing number who, like me, didn’t have a father as an integral part of their childhood. Dad was the guy who I saw for 6 weeks (more or less) every summer throughout a few years of my childhood, but never felt much of a connection with. He lived several states away and for that reason we saw him in an annual lump sum visit rather than dealing with the wrangling of weekends that I so often see with my students (is it a Dad weekend or a Mom weekend?).

Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for my dad. I am thankful that I am on this planet and I owe some of that to him. But I am also thankful that his illusion of machismo was NOT around, that he wasn’t available to teach me how a “real man” should act and what this supposed “real man” should do. Because of his lack of influence, I learned how to cry, to be bored with sports, and to explore my creative side. While most “real boys” were injuring themselves playing football I was drawing pictures, singing, and learning the guitar. I remember one Christmas I made cross-stitch ornaments for all of my teachers. How many “real boys” do that?

Now I realize that not all men raise their boys to be macho men, but a lot do. I have two daughters, so they will have an easier time fitting in with their peers than any boys I would’ve raised; I just don’t know how to raise proper boys (the kind that don’t get labeled as girly-boys). I try to be the best dad I can and celebrate the uniqueness inherent in each of my daughters, and I hope I am succeeding to some extent.

So I am thankful to my dad for not showing me the way. For not being around. Under his influence, I don’t think I’d have been the well-adjusted, nicely-rounded artsy-fartsy musician and knitter that I am today.

And thank you, mom, for taking on his job as well as always having yarn around the house and letting me watch you work.

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