When I was little, my parents got divorced. Now, like I said, I was little, so I didn’t really know what “getting a divorce” actually meant. I had no grasp of the social perspective of divorce. I didn’t really understand how it was possible for my own parents to not live in the same house. I was little.
As time went on, the whole child-of-divorced-parents role kind of sunk in. I stayed with my mom for a few days, then I stayed with my dad for a few days. Mondays and Tuesdays were with one parent, Wednesdays and Thursdays were with the other, and weekends were pretty much just up in the air. The hectic schedule of switching was… well, hectic. I always left my teddy bear at the wrong house and could never sleep, I never really knew which bus to ride home, and my friends had a better grasp of my schedule than I did. I needed change, and I needed it fast.
Luckily, my parents are strong believers in doing-what’s-best-for-the-kids, so when I proposed that we change the hectic schedule, they were open to my suggestions. After talking it through and thinking it over, we collectively decided on a week on/week off schedule with “switches” between parents every Friday at 7pm.
In theory, this new plan was flawless. Even in reality, it was miles better than the hectic schedule before it. The problem was, I cried every Friday from about 6:45-7:15, without fail. No matter how terrible my week had been and no matter how happy I was to be getting a break from my parent, I still cried over leaving. Every Friday.
After many months of many Friday switches, the whole thing was severely simplified. My dad went away for work, so the week on/week off thing wasn’t going to work out so well. Actually, we don’t really have a schedule at all anymore. Whenever it works out for the both of us, my dad and I hang out for a few days at a time. Compared to the hectic but consistent original schedule and the more recent week on/week off agreement, this is by far the worst arrangement. I see my dad about once a month at most. This is usually just one day out of one weekend, but we do get the occasional week here and there. It’s pretty rare that we get much time to just the two of us, but we make do.
This new arrangement is different. Where the old schedule was consistent and predictable, the current situation is random and unreliable. Back then my dad and I were in the same city, but now we have to fit travel time into our schedules. Not to mention I’ve grown up quite a bit since then.
Yet there’s still one thing that hasn’t changed. I still cry when it’s time to switch. Whether it’s Friday night at 7pm or Sunday afternoon after church, switches = waterworks. I cry, and I cry, and when I’m done crying, I cry a little bit more. Last Sunday when my dad picked me up, I was an uncontrollable mess, even though I would be home again that night. And then today, just thinking about leaving my dad tomorrow has been making my eyes water.
No matter how old I get, I still hate switching between parents. I guess some things never change.