I went home this past week for spring break and it went better than expected. There were no big fights between my sister and I (though that is mostly due to the fact I saw her all of half an hour, but it still counts), there were no big fights between my mom and dad, and even the two littlest ones were mostly civil towards each other. There has been a lot of change in the past few years with me (the oldest) going off to college, Michaela getting ready for college, Daniel turning into a pissy teenager, and Hannah preparing for middle school. Every time I come home, things are just a little different. For example, the little siblings keep changing bedrooms. Mother keeps rearranging the furniture. Apparently, our household cannot stand for things to be the same for even just a little while.
Last night, my mother and I went to Daniel’s baseball game. It was cold and windy, but we still mostly enjoyed ourselves. My mom and I love to just sit and talk about future plans and things, and that is precisely what we did at the game. We set up out little OSU folding chairs, bundled up in blankets, and started chit-chatting. One conversations would bleed itself into another until we got onto the eventual topic of my future with school. I finish my undergrad next year, and after that I will (hopefully) start my Masters degree. How exactly I will pay for everything has been a constant and ongoing conversation. For the moment my biggest half-brother is cosigning on loans because my mother’s credit is wrecked due to my father. I was running through all of my options out loud to my mother, planning out various paths to take in order to continue my education, when she looked at me and nonchalantly mentioned the idea of divorcing dad. This idea keeps reappearing every 6 months or so, either brought up by my angry father or my tired mother, and has been since before I was born. Stable relationship, right? So the topic of conversation slightly shifts again as mom begins to list the pros and cons of divorcing, the technicalities of the divorce, and what would happen post divorce for both herself, dad, and the kids. It wasn’t a serious conversation by any means. We were joking about a lot of things, and it was a relatively pleasant conversation that lasted for a good while. I remembered all of the other times mom or dad would drop the big D word, and for a moment my world would sort of spin and I would cry for hours. But not this time. This time, it was as if we were discussing getting rid of dirty towels, and I was calm.
How fucked up is that?
It wasn’t until later last night that I realized how awful it was for my mother and I to talk about such a heavy topic as divorce with ease and amusement. I felt alarmed and heavy — that wasn’t right. Have I become so numb to the idea of my parents divorcing? I mean, I saw the complete logic of my mother. The pros of divorcing most definitely outweighed the cons in the long run. During our conversation, mom looked at me and said, “The minute I cannot provide for my children, I have a big issue.” And she can’t really. I’m on my own in regards to paying for a lot of things, including college. She can provide food and clothes for the other kids – but barely, and the little kids don’t have a college fund because of the amount of times she has had to bale my father out. We don’t need the big, 5 room house anymore, but mom can’t get a new one because of her shitty credit due to dad’s shitty decisions.
Yes, the pros outweigh the cons. But I keep thinking about how much of a big change will happen, much bigger than me going to college. When I come home to visit, I will have two places I have to go. And what about the relationship between my mom and dad? Will they be friends? or never speak to each other again? or be cordial? And then there is explaining it all to the kids. And life will be really shitty for them and my mom for a while as she gets all of the debt paid off that my father acquired in her name. There are a lot of variables to this change, and the change is inevitable. My parents will get divorced at some point, it’s just a matter of when.
And I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with it yet.