Random Words Wednesday

THE supervised visit or the parental exchange… when one parent says hello and the other says goodbye… this is the coalface of broken homes.

I watched a young woman at the park with her two girls a little while ago. Despite the enormous playground not five metres away, the two girls spent the morning wrapped up in their mother’s cuddles, letting her whisper sweet things into their hair, gazing at clouds and giggling.

Then another woman, perched nearby at the tables, came to collect them. She and the girls got in a car and drove away. The mum wiped her face, got on her bike and rode home.

I’ve not been a party to supervised visits, but I’ve been the child standing between two parents in separate cars. My heart in my throat as they exchanged pleasantries and instructions. Each time it was a difficult process, each time I had to readjust, like a little wrinkle in my world that wouldn’t be smoothed out.

I’ve exercised diplomacy at an age when I shouldn’t have had such cares. But I did, even without the added burden of parents playing me for a pawn. Some days I still worry that if I demonstrate my love for one, what will the other think?

My child has a notion that they cannot love me if they love their dad. Similarly, I can’t love them if I love their siblings. And surely, we can’t all love each other at the same time.

I know this is a phase and soon he’ll discover the boundless depths of his own heart. In the meantime, I reign in my own childish notions of measured devotion and douse him in love, whether or not he reciprocates.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. EmmaK
    Jul 05, 2011 @ 14:28:59

    Sad to think of you as a child standing between two cars and being torn between two parents. Wonderfully worded!


    • petajo
      Jul 06, 2011 @ 02:14:39

      Yes – but it was the way my world was. Fortunately as kids, you get used to all kinds of “normal”. It’s only as an adult (and moreso as a parent) that you go “yep, that was hard.”


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