When I started to write this, I kept finding myself gravitating toward all of the negatives of the holiday season and the division of time with the kids. Last year was our second Thanksgiving since the divorce was final and I struggled a bit. I discovered that in many ways, as the wounds of the divorce had begun to heal, a new sense of meloncholy had started to set in as I began to recognize the emptiness left behind in the aftermath of our separation. Then I reminded myself that that’s not what this blog is about. Nor is it what the holidays are about.
We as families, together or divided, on good terms or bad, all share one common thread; we are all just that, a family. It may not be perfect, we may not always see eye to eye and the past year most certainly had its
moments of hurt, pain, resentment and anguish. We may not see ourselves in a Norman Rockwell painting. But the bottom line is, the kids still have the same mom and the same dad. They still look to each of us for love, support, comfort and understanding. And they look to us to lead.
The other thing to keep in mind is that these are our child’s memories we’re forging. We’ve already created a bit of a sting when it comes to how they’ll see their past as adults. But we still have a chance to make their holiday memories fond ones. Moments of peace between parents, toasting what we’re thankful for and finding reasons to laugh and smile.
And so, I only offer up my own words of encouragement. Remember the great things you still have. Whether or not you’re able to be with your kids at every holiday meal. Even if you’re entering the holidays during one of the more strenuous times in your relationship with your ex. Listen, my parents and I as well as my siblings and I argue all year long. We can get on each other’s last nerve. Yet come the holidays we manage to find a way to focus on the positives, even if only for a few hours, and celebrate our family.
Thanksgiving is a time to focus on the positives. It’s a chance to look at our kids and to do whatever you can to provide them with the security and foundation they may be struggling with. This isn’t about who’s the better parent, who let you down or who did more over the past twelve months. This is about being thankful for everything you’ve fought so hard to protect and everything you’ve done and can do to ensure your kids know they’re loved and wanted. And most of all, it’s about giving your kids something to be thankful for which above all should be memories they’ll cherish and great relationships with both their mom AND dad.
Peace to you this Thanksgiving. Now go hug your kids.