Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What Jared Really Learned at College

I found the story below at the Stepping Stones Counseling Center web site.

What Jared Really Learned at College by Sheli Dansky-Danziger

April 26, 2003 was a beautiful, crisp, spring day in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Grandparents, siblings, two parents and one step-parent gathered to celebrate Jared's graduation from the University of Michigan. Over 5000 graduates formed a seemingly endless procession into Michigan Stadium where my former husband and I sat together to witness this exhilarating event.

We had a wonderful family weekend filled with spirited meals, picture taking and reminiscing about Jared's four years of college. As we prepared our caravan for the return to Detroit Metro Airport, Jared called his father and me aside. I didn't know what to expect but logically I thought he might be thanking us for this remarkable educational experience. Instead, Jared thanked us for the way we have dealt with our divorce. Jared's father and I were totally caught off guard. Apparently Jared had friends who were forced to have separate celebrations (meals, hotels, seats at graduation, etc.) whereas we were together throughout the weekend. My former husband and I tearfully hugged Jared and told him how proud we were of his accomplishments; we then headed home.

As a divorced and remarried parent I have often felt concerned and saddened for my children. I hoped that they understood and grew from the changes they have endured in their lives. It's reassuring to know that maybe we have all ultimately done well and that Jared truly learned an important life lesson at college.


sanctuary said...

This article presents exactly the experience I desire to create for my daughter at her own high school graduation, this coming May - that of her father and his wife, sitting with myself, my husband and sons, as we all watch her graduate together. Her father and I have been divorced since she was eight. Even so, we have chosen not to focus on our own pain and decisions, but rather to work together to ensure she grows up 'whole'. Her father and his wife will be visiting our city during the time of her graduation. I have no qualms about having her father with us during that time, in fact, it was I who encouraged him to attend. What will be interesting is my husband's reaction, as such amicable relationships between ex-es is not something he is used to. (his relationship with his ex-wife is regrettably far from amicable). Already, my daughter has thanked me for the positive way her father and I relate to each other. It is possible to work together even after divorce, if both parties make the very defined choice to let go of the bitterness and focus on parenting in a way that nurtures the child.

Fajita said...

Sanctuary said "we have chosen not to focus on our own pain and decisions, but rather to work together to ensure she grows up 'whole'."

Bravo!!! I am so impressed when people even think this way, let alone pulling it off. Keeping striving in this direction. You give hope to others.