This past fall, I had a terrifying realization. In the midst of some transformational work I was doing, I became keenly aware of what might be in store for my son Micah’s future, being the child of divorced parents. Compartmentalization of his life and all that would entail flooded my thoughts. I know people who have experienced that type of compartmentalization with their parents and it has so many harrowing effects. I was filled with immense sadness at the thought of my child being forced to live with that. I had this vision in my head of him playing baseball, myself in one section of the bleachers and his father in another. Him having to look back and forth between us, sensing tension or questioning why we weren’t sitting together. Perhaps he would even wonder if he had done something wrong to cause our separation. Might he worry that us having to be in the same place at the same time was hard on us, and would he carry that burden and blame himself? I found myself having all of these thoughts and it occurred to me that it was quite possible for them to become his thoughts. It was almost too much to bear.
My son’s father and I have remained friends. We have no legal custody or child support agreement and, for the most part, have worked together cohesively as parents. My current relationship, however, has been a source of contention for many reasons. As I came to realize the impact this might have on my son, and on his self-esteem, I became determined to do something about it, preemptively.
So, I created a possibility. I squashed the vision I’d had of the baseball game and decided it simply wasn’t acceptable. Instead, I replaced it with a new and powerful vision of a community around my son; one that encompassed all of the people who love him the most working together, being together, on his behalf. This was no small feat. As I said, my ex-husband and current partner have, for lack of a better term, bad blood. There are a number of things at the source of that, each of them insignificant to this story. What there really is to get is that these two men, who both love my child tremendously, could barely engage in two minutes of small talk. Yet, I was committed to creating this community for Micah.
How was I going to do this? The same way I do everything, by enrolling other people in the possibilities I create. I started sharing my vision with these two men. I shared about my fears for Micah, about what I wanted for him and how I thought it was possible, if we were all able to put our love for him above everything else. My partner now was more open, in large part because he’s been in the same work that I have over the past year. Micah’s dad was dismissive, but I was determined to live in my possibility. I kept sharing with him, from a place of love and commitment to our son. And, a few days into December, I got a phone call. It was my incredibly brave, loving, wonderful father, ex-husband telling me that he would like for the four of us to go downtown, to see Santa, a Christmas tradition I had since my own childhood, that I’d started with Micah since birth.
For Christmas, and for Micah’s 5th birthday, we spent a magical night together, as a family.
Merry Christmas, and always remember that anything you can dream up, you can create.