Friday, February 26, 2010

Was joint custody a mistake? (

When Simon was 3, he used to call the time after the lights were out and before he fell asleep "the talking dark"; it was one of those pitch-perfect childhood phrases coined to describe an experience not found in grown-up parlance. In the talking dark, Simon talked himself to sleep. In the talking dark, bad guys were defeated, weather was commented upon, stuffed ducks waddled into ponds. He also got two of everything that year: two bedrooms, two sets of toys, two different jammie rotations. Dad's house and Mom's house were very separate places in his consciousness, a firewall built between them so thick that once, when he was with his dad and ran into me on the street, he introduced us to each other. "Mommy, this is Daddy. Daddy, Mommy." But he had one talking dark. One consciousness to inhabit and one narrative machine with which to invent stories out of the tracks of his days.

Although I was much older than Simon at the time, I am a child of divorce as well. I too drifted between two households. During that time, I very much felt like I was living two separate but equally important characters in my two families. Still, I existed in my own world between the two and those lines are gradually blurring over the past years. From all of this, I had a good chuckle at the distilling down of Simon's consciousness to the causal "introduction" of his parents on the street described above. The rest of the article is rather funny as well so I encourage you read the whole thing.

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