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Jewish Journal

Parenting 101:  Kids Should Always Trump Divorce

by Ilana Angel

March 16, 2014 | 6:51 pm

I have been friends with Dave since we were about 12. We call him “Ox” because he is as strong as an ox. You could play checkers on his abs when he was a kid and still can. I don’t want to swell his head, but will share with that his body is sick. By sick of course I mean yummy, yummy, ding-dong. Don’t tell him I said it or his head might explode.

Dave has been in the Canadian military for 30 years. Yes, Canada has a military. His career has been in the Air Force and he is the Search and Rescue guy that hangs out of helicopters while saving people. Quite a sexy job really and it just occurred to me I have never visited him at his work before. That has got to be put on my list of things to do.

I love him and he is like a brother, which now sounds weird since I said his body was killer. Whatever. He looks like Dennis Quaid and I adore him. I see Dave when he comes to California on vacation with his family, and he is here now. There is history, stories, and memories. There is also disbelief and jealousy at how my friend lives his life.

Dave has known Samantha for 12 years. They were together for 10, married for 2, have wonderful twin daughters, and the healthiest divorce I've ever seen. Samantha is a beautiful girl and at more than a decade younger than Dave, wise beyond her years. She is an amazing mother, a loyal friend, and the ex-wife of fairytales.

For the past 8 years they have traveled together as a family twice a year, even though they are divorced. Regardless of whether or not they are in relationships with other people, they take family vacations. These young girls have divorced parents who show them everyday that they are more important than their egos or hang ups.

What a blessing for these children. Can you imagine what it must be like for them to grow up with family vacation pictures of the 4 of them for their entre childhood? That is special and a true testament to good parenting. It takes two of course, and there are no stepparents, but lines have been drawn in the sand and the kids come first.

When parents are able to go into divorce remembering the love they had when they married, kids win. If one remembers and one doesn’t, kids lose. If neither one can remember, kids miss out . It is a shame all divorced adults are unable to do right by their kids. Instead they behave badly and kids are forced to grow up quickly.

Dave is a remarkable father and Samantha is all that and a bag of chips. I am proud of my friends and how they raise their children. I am jealous because I wish it were this way for my own child, but sharing their choices proves that placing the love of kids over the hurt of divorce is not only possible, but people are actually doing it successfully right now.

Dave, Sam, and the girls are in San Diego having a blast. They’ll spend the week enjoying Southern California sun as a family. Family is a beautiful thing and while it can take on many forms and include many people, kids are shaped by the life they are shown. Dave and Sam show us parenting is a partnership and you must believe to keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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