On Day 3 of my daughter Jane’s tropical island vacation with another family, the parents announced their separation on Facebook. Jane took it in stride. She had seen worse. When she was a little girl, she would burst into tears at the slightest hint of angry voices, so terrorized was she by the scream-fest that was her own parents’ marriage in decline. But I guess she got over it, because now she just cocks an eyebrow and sends judgmental text messages.
In fact, as the successful survivor of a broken home, Jane has become a reassuring presence, even a guru, for her friends with parents on the rocks. I just thank God mine split up years ago, she says, whether the father in question has relocated to the basement, failed to return from Belize, or has been “at work” for three weeks and counting. She offers in contrast her own post-divorce lifestyle — lovely weekends in the country with Dad, school days and summer plans managed by Mom, benevolent older siblings from the de-blended family residing near and far.
Her home was a lot more broken when we were together than since we split up.