The summer after my eighth birthday my parents separated. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through. No one told me why my mom moved out, at least I don’t remember them telling me. I remember my mom asking me who I would want to live with if her and my dad weren’t together. I didn’t know what she was talking about, but I told her I would live with her. That was months before she moved out.
Now I’m the parent, and my son is turning eight today. My wife and I are doing fine, so there isn’t a chance of either of us moving out. We’re actually doing the best we’ve been in a long time.
My son has ADHD and is on medication for it. He is doing better in school, his guitar lessons and seems happier than I’ve seen him since he was little.
We’re moving this summer to a new town and he will be in a new school. When my parents divorced I got used to changing schools. It didn’t happen until sixth grade, but I changed schools three times that year. I will help him with the new school the best I can. He is a really good kid, he just has a lot of energy and had a real problem with focusing. His medication has helped with the focusing. I don’t want him to lose his energy levels. It keeps me alive.
It took me a long time to deal with my parents divorce, in some ways it changed me for the better, but in a lot more in made me worse. Before their divorce I felt more outgoing, after not so much. I felt like I could do a lot things before. When my mom, my older sister and my youngest sister left I think some part of me left. I understand now that my parents divorced because they could no longer live with each other. I wish someone would have given me an explanation when I was eight.
Finding who I am and letting my son find out who he is the one thing I wanted to do. I don’t want him to live through my wife and I getting divorced and we’ve done well, with hiccups along the way but nothing bad enough that either of us left. Every marriage has hiccups some hiccups cause damage that is irreparable.
My parent’s hiccups were irreparable.
I found things on my way from eight years old that made me who I am. Now that I’m thirty-six, I know my parents divorce made me who I am. It sucked, but things happen for a reason. It took me twenty-eight years to understand the reason.
My son turning eight makes me feel like, a bit of that eight year old me is better because my wife and I are still together.
To my big kid, I hope you know how much you mean to me. And that you were the best birthday present I will ever get.
Happy Birthday Tarquin.