Yesterday we lit five candles to celebrate the fifth night of Chanukah. At our house we had an interesting assortment of people. See, the boys’ Abba was in town to visit them, with his family, and they hung out with us for a bit in the afternoon, the kids watching a movie and the grown ups chatting. After all the male folk had come back from mincha and maariv we all lit candles together. Myself and the KoD, my ex and his wife, her kids, my/our kids and the KoD’s kids. All together under one roof, with no drama.
A few years ago I would have sworn that there was no way such a thing could happen. I could not see a time where we could all get along without past history intruding. But we have all moved on, we all have put the children’s needs way ahead of our own. It’s what mature parents do. Stirring up old wounds helps no one. Was it weird? Sure it was – but the kids were happy – and that is all I want for them.
Imagine – years ago the kids would never have thought that they would be able to light Chanukah candles again with both their parents present. Last night this was our gift to them – and I am sure it is something that they will remember.
I am glad that my children don’t have to have the stress of worrying what’s going to happen when they have both parents in the same place at the same time – that they have peace of mind knowing there will be no fighting or drama or snide comments. My ex and I have both worked very hard to be able to provide this kind of atmosphere for the children. But it takes commitment and hard work from both parents (and new spouses too).
More than anything, tolerance of and civility toward the other parent is the best gift a divorced parent can give their child.