I remember vividly the day they told us they were divorcing. I can describe where everybody sat. It was the summer before I turned 11.
The years after that were harder. I was the latchkey older kid, so I had to watch my brother until Mom got home. ... We did the 'joint custody' thing, which is tough in the teen years when you'd really rather be with your friends. To this day, I get a little weird sometimes around packing.
Now he's gone, and I'm a father. ... Much of what I try to do as a father is defined, in part, by awareness of what he did. Having seen the 'divorced dad' thing up close, I want no part of it. And while God knows I've got my flaws and my blind spots, defeatism is not one of them. I will not teach my kids to settle. To deal, yes. To settle, no. There's a difference.