Pieces of April...and Jen
Updated: May 11
My divorce happened 11 years ago. I had been married 14 years and had 3 boys when I became a single mom at the age of 34. My biggest fear was, "What is this going to do to my kids?"
My parents are still married and happy. I had a wonderful childhood and I just expected I would give my children that same experience. That didn't happen. The last decade of my personal life has been a (pardon my french) shit show of failed businesses, jobs and relationships. On the outside, everyone thought I was the same old Jen...happy, joking and optimistic. But I didn't feel that way.
I was raised well and I expected I would do as well as my parents did in relationships and finance, if not better. None of that has been the case. I, unwittingly, was so angry about that.
My Boys and have lived with my mom and dad since my divorce (barring the 1 year I rented a house not-to-far from here). There are worse things, I know. My folks live in an affluent neighborhood and, while my boys and I were the "poor" family in the neighborhood, my children's friends and friend's parents were all good, quality people...and exceptional in their fields of business, real-estate, investments, etc.
I was angry that I lived with my parents. I felt like a failure...a let down. But I had a miraculous realization a week or so ago. My dad asked if I wanted to watch a movie with him...Pieces of April. We were the only ones home and neither of us had ever seen it. I can't explain what connected the dots for me, but throughout the course of the film I had a realization. I was so blessed. Even though, I had struggled to make MY way, my children were kept safe and were thriving. They'd grown up in a beautiful neighborhood, mentored by the best, with me and their grandparents looking out for them...feeding them...helping them with their homework...caring for them (I'm reminded of a science project my dad and I helped my son, Ethan with. We generated electricity with fruit. After 4 trips to the hardware store and dozens of failed attempts, we all wanted to kill each other and his science teacher). While watching this tumultuous film about life and family and let downs and moving forward, I realized my prayers were answered. My biggest fears were taken care of in better ways than I could imagine through my feelings of defeat and anger.
So, there's the lesson, albeit a hard one for me to get (11 years in the making). If you can let go of your ideas of what things "should" look like and calm yourself down, you might find your wishes have, in fact, been granted.