The holidays can be a potent, emotionally charged time — especially among families that have suffered divorce. In fact, I’ve been so busy for the past week or so that the emotions of navigating all this family time by myself didn’t really hit me until it was all over.
Even if I don’t miss my ex, I do miss several of the traditions and memories we created and shared together. He’s Jewish; I come from a Christian background. We were blessed to celebrate Chanukah and Christmas. I miss sharing the season with him and his family. And while I’m in contact with some of the former in-laws, I’m no longer part of the family celebrations. I have to experience them through my children’s stories.
My ex missed this, too. When I dropped the children off to spend a few days of their break, he gave me a hug and told me he misses me. I’m smarter than to believe I should take this to mean anything of substance. I still love him. But I don’t miss living with him. And I doubt he misses living with me, aside from some of the happy memories we created together. After all, how can the holidays be recalled with anything but fondness?
So if we remember and reminisce about family celebrations, especially holidays, what is the impact of divorce? It’s the death of a dream. Certainly when we came together, vowed to love one another and brought children into the world, we did so believing that we would be together. We dreamt of a stable family life for our children and creating traditions of all kinds together.
And having failed at maintaining this, I can’t help but wonder what of our children’s dreams we have dashed?