Friday, October 3, 2008

The Subprime Son

Sometimes, friends divorce. Sometimes, you, as the friends who knew the couple, don’t really care why they divorced but care more that the two friends who have now gone their separate ways are ok and happy … in their new spaces. Is it really anyone’s business other than theirs why they decided to end the marriage? No. It is no one’s place to judge. It is often the friend’s place to support and listen. We listened. Oh, how we listened. And while it is sad to see the demise of a marriage, new adventures and the prospect of finding their way now awaits these two friends … these friends we know. These friends we will continue to know. And how does it affect us? Sure. But. We get the kid.

Ok, we don’t “get” the kid, but we benefit from enjoying a Loaner Son for at least one evening a week—sometimes more. Our dear friend, Mrs. Ex, sings with the Birmingham Symphony. While she is off singing her heart out, the child, the angelic tow-headed boy we like to call our Loaner Son (LS) comes to stay with us every Monday evening. Mr. Ex has moved on to healing pastures and is busy traveling the country with his new job. Mr. Ex remains a big part in LS’s life. We do not play partisan politics in this house as we try to be logical and understand … but more than that—it’s all about the child. All of it. Every last bit of it.

And you know what, they know that. They’ve been good about it, and they’re being good to each other. I think it’s one of those classic cases where two people who lived together and could not agree while married turn out to be good friends when divorced. Somehow, they’re suddenly able to root for each other and wish happiness on the other. This type of behavior only helps the son. Good parents. We support them and try to help them with their hard time that will slowly get better. And it will.

So, we get a son. One day a week Mr. Husband and Mrs. Wife get a Loaner Son. He is the joy who helps us experience parenting. He is the one who bounds into the room asking a million questions and insisting that we watch the movie Shrek over and over and over and over. He adores Mr. Husband. Mr. Husband is careful and inquisitive. The two of them walk all over the house asking each other questions. It is like my Mr. Husband found his best friend ever. They play Star Wars Legos together. They play Wii together, they make creatures with the Spore Creature Creator, and we enjoy crayons. We’ve established that Mr. Ex now calls on Monday nights to see what our LS is eating for dinner and to try and speak with him on the phone. Our little Loaner Son is only two and a half, so he likes to shrug and smile at the sound of his daddy on the phone. It is a good tradition to establish.

I can hear LS following Mr. Husband around in the next room all night, asking, “what’s that, Deff? What you doin’ Deff?” It is question after question. And so we decided that if we are here and he is wondering and we are the stand-in parents, then we will teach him. Last night, we bought LS his first toys that will be at our home. We bought him an ABCs wooden puzzle and an Amaze-n-Marbles set. It is our job to bring the joy. It is our job to just be there with mirth. We are not the disciplinarians. That is not our job. We are fortunate that LS is an exceptionally good child. However, we might be starting to experience the Terrible Two’s. We are learning to be parents. He is learning us good.

And we are hoping to make the transition into this new way of life a little easier for Mrs. Ex and Mr. Ex. They are both good people who created an awesome little boy that we have the fortune to loan from them once in a while. Glad we can help. Who’s helping who? My ovaries are so calling. Yup, they’re screaming.
It is two people who put differences aside and focus on the child or children that make tomorrow better for everything. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Ex for doing just that. Oh, yeah, and thanks for loaning us your son. We love it. I never knew I was so very good at cutting up food into tiny pieces. I never knew. If only I could be as good as Mr. Husband is with children. He's the one. He's going to be a superb father. I'm lucky. My unborn children are luckier.


Jenn Q said...

Great post Heather! As I was reading this, I actually heard your ovaries screaming as well :)

I'm totally with ya - it's all about the kid(s) in any case of divorce. My parents failed to see that many times, so it's refreshing to actually know a couple who is putting their child first - he'll be better for it, and so will they.

Melinda said...

Awww, this is awesome! Thanks, Heather! And i LOVE the pictures!