Crappy or Happy Father’s Day?

Father’s Day was yesterday. Mine was happy. I’m lucky that I have an abundance of good guys in my life.  I got a little creative this year, and in lieu of a tie I gave the guys in my life an event gift.  We are going to go to Detroit for dinner and a play about the life of Ernie Harwell, the voice of the Detroit Tigers.  How fun, combining their love of sports and my love of theatre with our mutual affection for food.  Happy Father’s Day to my dad, my step-dad and my husband! (Although friendly, we are not all going together- they’re not Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher.)

I should be a statistic of what horrible things will happen when coming from a broken home.  My parents divorcing set me up for a risk of doing poorly in school, being promiscuous, dabbling in dangerous behavior and substance abuse, and living in poverty, just to name a few. 

Thanks to God, and the wisdom and strength of my family, when I got married I was on the dean’s list, a smoke drug and alcohol-free virgin with all my physical and emotional needs met and ready to start a healthy relationship of my own.  None of us are baggage-free when we couple up and start a family but statistics prove someone from a fractured family is at greater risk of having to pay a heavy baggage fee.  I was a lucky one who had good parents and extended family who didn’t allow their misfortunes to become my legacy.  It was very clearly communicated to me that divorce is NOT a good thing and it is absolutely the exception to the ideal. 

Understand me clearly- there IS an ideal for family.  It is children living with their healthy married biological mom and dad.  Healthy marriage and its strong family foundation is the single greatest protector of children against all kinds of social ills. 

I’m the lucky kid with a great dad and a wonderful step-dad. That doesn’t mean there weren’t times along the way that I didn’t wish things had gone differently for the people who created me and love me more than any two people on this Earth. I can attest to that hard wired instinctual pull for your mom and dad to love each other as much as you love each of them. Divorce puts it all on the kid to divide their love and attention and offers a transient lifestyle lacking solid roots. My parents didn’t put us in that position to choose or pretend like home was either of two houses. Nope. Home was home and I’m forever thankful that Dad gave me that gift even though he wasn’t there with us. They didn’t make their issues with each other our issues with them. We were urged to see the good in each parent. HUGE gift. HUGE.

Understand that as a parent the greatest gift you can give your kids is to love their mom & dad. Ideally in a loving home and marriage, all under one roof.  In extreme cases where divorce is inevitable, you can still give your kids the gift of love and hope when you love and respect the other parent as best  you can.

Divorce stinks. I cannot say it any other way. But I’m thankful for the Father’s Day gift I received – spending time with some great guys who teach me about love and assure me that divorce is NOT my legacy.