Sunday, November 19, 2006

Kids on dating

Ah, the role reversal. We're protective of our parents, particulary our moms, after a divorce. Our temptation is to let them lean on us, because we want to be helpful. But that can set up some pretty bizarre dynamics, like in these excerpts from an essay in the online journal Happy News:

"Having parents divorce as an adult affects you differently, because you understand the dynamics of trying to date, and the vulnerable position it puts you in emotionally," says Lilli, who is 25. "I shudder to think of my parents having to do it, because I know how hard it is having to do it as a young person."

"If children are older it might be a relief to see the parent repartnered--able to turn to someone other than their children for emotional support and companionship."

At the dinner table my mom watches my face as I read a text message from my boyfriend Eric. Passion glazes over my cheeks; my mouth expands into an upside-down triangle smile. My mom's eyes meet mine as I close the phone and my smile fades to normal. She can't help herself: she grabs both of my hands and tells me, "I want to be in love like you!"

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