Growing up, I don’t remember a lot of other children having divorced parents. My parents decided that their marriage could not move forward when I was a seven year old.
I was not sure what it meant when they officially told us they were divorcing. I knew my Dad would not be staying with us anymore and he would come and get us every other weekend. This was not a big deal, as we generally liked all of the adventures both of our parents would take us on.
When Christmastime came, things started to be very different. I remember many a midnight service at my Methodist church with my mom. We would normally open one present on Christmas Eve and then open the rest on Christmas Day. I remember my mom making Christmas special with gifts, decorations, food, and gifts. Our stockings were full and she always found a way to get us something unique we wanted.
My dad would arrive around lunchtime to pick us up to go to another relatives to celebrate there. Things were much different there. We were normally made to eat dinner before package opening. After the opening we would play games and enjoy our new gifts. My grandparents and step grandma were always in attendance showering us with more food and gifts than we could imagine. We were truly spoiled. I don’t remember a Christmas that did not receive a material thing I wanted.
I found, selfishly, that having two Christmases might have been the only reason I liked that my parents’ divorced. That was a strange feeling, as most of the time thinking about them being apart really made me sad. Finding that nougat of truth, began a long journey of search for a silver lining in situations, which has served me well.
This year a child in my class will celebrate two Christmases and I had the chance to talk with him about it. I was glad, that I had gone through that to be able to share with another young person. It was a great reminder that “my mess, is my message.” I thank God for two Christmases and all I learned from growing up in the loving environment I did, for God knew a little boy would be nervous and he sent me to comfort his fear.