Families are torn apart by divorce, and vacations may be one area of strife for parents and children. There is no way out of it, and no matter how hard one parent tries to protect the children. These innocent little ones are the biggest victims of the horror of divorce.
It is not just the immediate family form apart by divorce either. My family has gone away the same week for the past 25+ years, and yet that was the week my ex picked to take the children this year. To be honest, I had mentioned to him once that we may not be able to go. I was trying to keep him informed of our plans. I saw the error of that when my children begged got in the car and begged me to let them go with their cousins. I texted their father to retract that statement almost immediately, but he refused to change his week despite my children’s confident assurance to me that, “Dad wouldn’t really make us miss it mom.”
The weeks crept closer and then started flying by and the boys were beginning to get nervous. Maybe Dad would really make them miss this trip after all? I saw the doubt, disappointment, and sadness in their little faces until finally the older two decided, without my knowledge, to call their father and tell him they weren’t going.
This caused major issues since my ex believed I had put them up to it and since I now needed to cancel the plans I had made for a few days away – a mix of business and pleasure without the stress of making arrangements for 5 children. In the end, my ex said four of the boys could come with me, and my 11 year old, my little guy who tries so hard to be perfect and does not want his father to be alone, could go with him and his girlfriend.
Over the past two weeks, I have watched this little boy’s face drop as his brothers excitedly talk about the family they would see, the competitions they would win, and the horseplay they’d perform on the beach. I’ve watched this child, who already tries so hard to be perfect, work extra hard at anticipating the needs of everyone else and take care of the rest of us since he will not be with us on vacation. I have also watched his brothers as the reality of not having us all together dawns on them. I think we all thought he would come with us in the end, but that is looking less like a reality every day. I would not feel so bad if I knew he’d have fun, and I am sure he will in truth, but I know he will also miss this week more than he will ever tell his father, maybe more than he will ever tell any of us.
And I wonder, how is this best for the children? When did my ex-husband’s happiness become more important than his children’s? While there are no innocent adults in divorce, there are innocent children. No matter how hard we try, there are some things we just cannot fix when families are torn apart by divorce.
Please keep my boy and all of us in your prayers. As always, God Bless…