There are several things I try to evade: feeding the dog, doing my physics homework, running into the cutest senior boys in the hallway. No matter how much effort I put into avoiding them, what I try to keep from happening always seems to occur. After my parents got divorced, I learned that there was one thing I should never try to avoid: my problems. I believe in staying close to home, even when it hurts.
As a young third grader, I didn’t quite understand what was going on. The only images of divorce I had were based on movies. I didn’t feel sadness; I just knew that I should. Luckily, the weekend my dad moved out was nothing like it’s depicted in the movies. There was no frantically packing up suitcases while yelling and screaming at everything that moved. There was no taxicab waiting in the torrential downpour of rain outside the house. As for what actually happened, I have no idea. My mom decided that it would be a great idea to get my younger sister and me out of the house the weekend my dad left.
Throughout the trip to vail that long weekend, I told myself that things would be different when I got home. I knew that I would adjust to them at some point, but I didn’t realize how alien my house would feel.
The sun didn’t shine through the front windows the same way it used to. The house had a cool, airy feeling, as if there was only unusual cold air filling the spaces that used to be filled with dad’s things. I was unable to comprehend how foreign the house felt; it wasn’t my home.
When I look back on the divorce now, I am unaffected. I view it as a great choice. My parents get along great, and I get to spend individual time with both my mom and my dad. But I also notice that I was unable to say goodbye to my old life; I wasn’t able to give my dad the same hug and kiss goodbye that I gave him every day the last time he left, when he moved to his new house. By avoiding my problems and fears, I was catapulted into a new, foreign life. My parents’ divorce is one of the few events in my life that won’t reoccur, that I won’t have a second chance to face. My parents’ divorce taught me that I should accept and face my problems because otherwise, I will just be dropped right into another.
Next time my mom asks me to feed the dog, I’ll comply. When I see that I have physics homework for the night, I’ll do it, regardless of how confusing it is. But when I run into that cute senior in the hall, well, I’ll talk to him. Because I know that even if it’s terrifying and I pee my pants of embarrassment, wet pants are worth talking to the cute boys.