My parents got divorced when I was 13.
There’s a special place in my heart for those who were teenagers when their parents got divorced. As if just being a teenager wasn’t hard enough. I know what it’s like to have your whole life change. I know what it’s like to remember with a little nostalgia what your life was like before your parents got divorced. Not to say, that divorce isn’t hard on small children. But it is very different when your old enough to understand what’s going on – when you have to be apart of certain decisions – decisions that a teenager shouldn’t have to make – like which parent do you want to live with – those are hard decisions to make when you’re just 13.
But I don’t regret – any of it. The hard parts – the decisions made – they have all shaped the person I am today as well as the great relationship I have with both of my parents.
It’s funny how when you’re in the midst of the storm you can’t see the rainbow.
But when you look back, when the storm has settled, you see it – and it’s so beautiful.
I lived with my dad after my parents got divorced. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but at the time I was in survival mode. What I wanted most at that time in my life was stability and living with my dad meant not having to change schools. It meant I could stay in the same house – with the same friends – while everything else in my life was no longer the same. So basically I didn’t choose my dad over my mom – I chose my friends. Many of which I’m still friends with today. They rescued me – this group of silly 13 and 14 year old girls. They kept me up – and they really don’t even know how much they saved me.
Living with my dad wasn’t easy, especially at first. I was a teenager – with a pretty bad, very sassy attitude. I was selfish – as most teenagers typically are – add to that I was a little angry at the new circumstances that were thrown at me. But we made it work.
I got to know to my dad – to really know him. The funny thing is – I don’t really remember much about him or my relationship with him before my parents divorced. Sure he taught me how to tell time and made sure I memorized my multiplication tables, but I don’t remember much else. I spent more time with my mom as daughters do I guess. I remember doing all sorts of things with her – baking and crafting – watching her put on her makeup – playing dress up with her high heels – going to the movies – and on and on. But one-on-one memories with my dad before the age of 13 – there aren’t many of them.
And then, by default, at age 13 my dad became my roommate.
We did stuff together – just him and I. We talked. We went to the movies. We went grocery shopping together. He taught me how to drive, and he hosted a sweet 16 birthday party for me in our backyard, with a DJ and a disco ball. We built a relationship. That was our first diy project together.
I remember my wedding day as he walked me down the aisle I was filled with so many emotions. I was a little nervous about another big life change – and there he was walking me through it yet again – not in front of me or behind me but right beside me until I could do it alone.
The relationship I built with my dad is my rainbow after the storm of my parents divorce. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I can see now that God had a plan all along.
My dad was just here visiting for the past two weeks, and we (mainly him) built a swing set/ playhouse for my kiddos. While building I couldn’t help but think – we’ve been building together for 21 years now. He left this morning, and my heart hurts just a little. It’s never easy to say goodbye, but as I sit by the window looking out at the play set we built together I realize I get to keep a little bit of him here with me.
I don’t know what the storms have been like in your life or if you’re going through a storm now – but I do know there’s a rainbow coming!