Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Unique Divorce

My divorce is, hands down, better than my marriage was. We’re free from drama. We’re not trying to love each other just because we had a kid together. We channel all of that love to the amazing boy we created.

To some, my divorce might seem odd. At times, it is to me. The basic facts are simple…we’ve hammered out a weekly schedule that works for both of us, the majority of that time being with me. We both bend over backwards to accommodates changes when they arise. We keep every last detail out of the court system. I really don’t feel that a third party is necessary to make life choices for our son. On the other hand, I know I’m lucky that my son has an incredibly laid back dad who sees his son every week and isn’t ever looking to pick a fight. And I’m never looking to be on a power trip.

It’s the other details that are different. We have no filter with each other, we never walk on eggshells. When I go to pick Aidan up and my ex is like, “Wow, it’s chilly in here.” I’m all deadpan, “Turn your fan off, buddy.” He brings Aidan out to my car and says, “Wow, clean your car much?” I can tell him his haircut looks bad and he can make fun of me for talking too loudly on my phone in his house. Yet we somehow never offend each other.

I know that, for the rest of my son’s life, I will have to remind his dad at least three times, on separate occasions, if I want him to show up for one of Aidan’s functions. He knows that I would be crushed if I did not have both Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning with our son, so he kindly sits in the backseat and waits to accommodate my schedule preference.

This semester it was not uncommon for me to pick Aidan up after a Tuesday night class and have dinner waiting for me, courtesy of my ex-husband. And you have to understand, the ex is a fantastic chef. I mean really, really talented. He also took the pile of leaves I raked this fall and dragged them to the curb for me because I wanted to leave earlier to visit sisters in another state and I, of course, had waited until the last day to get that little project done. I bought his birthday dinner and gifted him with gorgeous beach shots of Aidan for Father’s Day. He hooks me up with delicious eats when I'm throwing a girls' night. Since child support is included in the list of what we keep out of the court system, I'm extremely flexible. I would never, in a million years, intentionally create drama where my son is concerned and we both agree it is in his best interests to keep our relationship in a good place. I was extremely nice to the girl he dated for awhile, because she was extremely nice to my son. Though I haven’t introduced Aidan to any males yet, I know the ex would be supportive.

So, knowing all of this, the other day was typical.

My phone rings. It’s the ex, he sounds a touch frantic.

“What are you doing?”

Me, all sassy, “I’m getting dinner on the table for your son, what are you doing?”

“I’m cooking for some people at their house, right by you. And I forgot to bring a whisk. And I’m making this custard and I have to have a whisk. Please?” The restaurant where he is the head chef is miles away.

So I load up our son and grab my whisk.

When I pull up to this house, I realize how ridiculous it sounds when I talk to the guy who greets us, “I’m dropping this kitchen utensil off for my ex-husband. He’s the chef.”

After we depart I call him. “You owe me.”

“I know.”

“I’m just saying, next time you see me in your restaurant, you better pull out all the stops.”

He counters, “I have a feeling you’ll be calling me to shovel soon.”

Darn it. He can always get me with the enticing manual labor offer.

“Whatever, you owe me dinner.”

“Will do.”

My favorite part about this is that it’s all representative of the norm. Aidan’s parents loved him too much to stay together, but definitely enough to pull off one hell of a divorce.


  1. Good for you guys!!! I mean that. I'm very happy that you guys get along so well. and i'm glad you bought his birthday dinner :)

  2. Now if only all divorces could be modeled after yours... Imagine all the money and bitching that would be saved!

  3. I second that comment by Chelsea. I wish my divorce was like that. My ex has hit new heights of vengeance where I am concerned with no regard to our children. It is so wonderful to read about two people who put their love for their child above everything else. Fantastic!

  4. Wow -- that's wonderful that the two of you have been able to work things out so that everything runs so smoothly. You should feel proud of yourself!

    My ex and I work together fairly well, but that's mostly because I "handle him" -- make sure I sort of take care of his moods, emotions.

    He's visiting his parents out of town with my son this christmas and when i was on the phone with him, asking how things were going, he was telling me all sorts of stuff and it struck me that he never even asks how i am.

    Nevertheless, out situation is better than most, i think, and for that i'm grateful.

    hope you have a lovely holiday!

  5. What a great story. It's so nice to hear a story of such an amicable divorce! Sounds like you guys are really able to stay friends. That is one lucky kid you've got there! :)

  6. Wow, Penelope, that's a beautiful post. It must have been wretched to go through at the time, but you two are handling everything with extraordinary grace.

    By the way, I love reading your posts! Cute, funny, charming--keep 'em coming!