“The family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.” ~Dodie Smith

It was somewhere between my second glass of wine and my fist serving of lasagna that I noticed how happy I was. Sitting around the table with both my parents–divorced for almost 15 years, but still sharing Christmas Eve together. In true family tradition, it was unconventional. Last year we shared a dinner of Christmas Eve burritos. But it’s not the food that matters, it’s the company.

There were some rough years. Arguments, accusations, name calling. Holidays were divided, not shared. And while there is still the occasional disagreement or dispute over something, as far as divorced parents go, they get along pretty well.

That night I listened as they reminisced about years past. About adventures in their 20s and who they were at my age. And although I couldn’t relate to all they had done (they call me the black sheep of the family–a quintessential girly-girl who would not fit in communally living or jamming with a band), I could understand together or apart, my parents are extraordinary people.

That night as Michael and I drifted off to sleep, I thought about our relationship and where we’ll be 30 years from now. Both being products of divorce, it is extremely important to both of us that our vows remain true for the rest of our lives. But aside from that, I hope that one day we can sit at the dinner table on Christmas Eve with both my parents and our very own children, sharing a dinner of burritos or lasagna and the stories of who we once were and who we have become.

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