Monday, August 11, 2014


I was watching "Dr. Phil" the other day. With Kiley gone for the summer I have a lot of time on my hands and there is no more relaxing way to pass the time than to eavesdrop in on other peoples' problems. My husband goes to extremes in that regard and by extremes I mean "Maury". He loves Maury Povich. He'll sit there on the sofa yelling at the screen, giving Maury advice like they were old friends, taking sides in whatever ridiculous relationship melodrama is being presented, demanding at the top of his voice that a DNA test be performed, and generally having a grand old time. When I hear the cry of "Hurry up honey the results are in!" I just have to roll my eyes and pretend I didn't hear him. I just can't go down the "Maury" road. I don't want to know if Latasha is sleeping with her fiancĂ©'s stepfather or which of five hopefuls is actually the "baby daddy". "Maury" is bad enough but when my husband turns "Cheaters" on I simply have to leave the room.  He insists that "Cheaters" is the only true reality show on TV and he thinks the fact that Joey Grecco has never "copped" an Emmy speaks volumes about the American psyche. Whatever, Hon.

"Dr. Phil" on the other hand can often be interesting despite the fact that it is highly improbable that any "doctor" could possibly analyze complex personal problems in the course of an hour-long show with twenty minutes worth of commercials. Still, the show can be interesting and often informative. The one I saw the other day was about divorce and highlighted the effects of divorce on children. I don't know anything about divorce or its effects on children. I was never divorced, my parents were not divorced, and none of my children have been divorced so I don't know what it does to children when their family comes apart. I have heard that every marriage is different but every divorce is the same, but I don't believe that. I believe there is such a thing as a good divorce. I believe some people should not stay together and that divorce is the best thing for both them and their children. I think some people can end their relationship in a very amicable, reasonable and selfless way. I believe that, even when there is contention and even bitterness between separating couples, there are wise parents who can overlook their personal feelings enough to ensure that the break-up of their family is as painless as possible for their children. I believe that all divorcing parents want to do whatever is best for their children. I also believe, however, that many times parents are so caught up in what the break-up of their marriage is doing to them that they can't see what it is doing to the kids even when they are consciously trying to put the children first.  

Some thirty years ago my husband wrote about divorce from a child's perspective. He wrote in the form of a children's poem. Our children were children then and he would often write little poems and rhymes to amuse them, teach them about the world, and stimulate their imaginations. What does it feel like to children who are watching their parents as they come apart? What do they think about? What do they dream about? My husband has as little experience with divorce as I do. What he wrote is strictly from imagination.  Millions of people, however, do have such experience. Here's the poem. Is this part of what it feels like? You tell me.


                                              Last night I dreamed of rainbows.
                                              I saw them in the sky.
                                              Don't ask me why I dreamed of them,
                                              I really don't know why.

                                              Maybe it was just the kind
                                              Of dream that crying brings.
                                              Sometimes when I'm sad at night
                                                I dream of happy things.

                                                I dreamed that it was summer time
                                                And we were all outside.
                                                And Daddy never frowned or yelled
                                                And Mommy never cried.

                                                A storm had just passed overhead
                                                And all the rain was through.
                                                And Mom and Dad were holding hands
                                                And everything seemed new.

                                                And they weren't mad or anything,
                                                And Dad was gonna stay.
                                                And then the sun came beaming out,
                                                And chased the clouds away.

                                                Then rainbows came and filled the sky.
                                                Us kids were all so glad
                                                That we just hugged each other tight
                                                As our Mom kissed our Dad.

                                                Just then one rainbow came right down,
                                                It glittered like a gem.
                                                It arched right over Mom and Dad
                                                And shined right down on them.

                                                Then Dad told Mom he loved her
                                                And I began to cry,
                                                And thanked the Lord who watches us
                                                For rainbows in the sky.

                                                But all of that was just a dream,
                                                It wasn't real or true.
                                                And now the dream is gone and I
                                                Just don't know what to do.

                                                The real clouds haven't blown away.
                                                The real rain's falling now.
                                                The real storm's not up in the sky
                                                It's in our hearts somehow.

                                                I've tried but I can't wish away
                                                The clouds our tears fall from.
                                                So I'll just pray that dreams come true
                                                And hope that rainbows come.



  1. I've often thought when people bemoan today's divorce rate, that in years past the rate was low because the stigma was so high, the result was pure misery. Divorce is not a good thing, but it is often way better than the alternative.

    Dr. Phil is an annoying bully blowhard shill for his many books and products, he is a spit-shined Maury...I watch regularly...go figure.

    1. You are right. The stigma in years past was a big factor in suppressing the divorce rate. The best way to suppress it now is for people to take to heart the maxim that "marriage is not to be entered into lightly". Look long and hard before you leap. Not so easy to do when you are twenty-two and "in love".

  2. A lovely poem, Nan. I've always been quite thankful my parents divorced, to be honest. I think my six siblings would be in full agreement with me.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I'm glad that things worked out for you and your siblings. I wonder what percentage of children who experience divorce see it as a positive thing in their lives. That would be an interesting statistic. Perhaps it is higher than we think. Nan