I would have stayed in an unhappy marriage forever, just to be with my daughters 100% of the time. So when I told Jon that I wanted a divorce when the girls were eleven and seventeen, the arrangement was all I was thinking about. He would pick them up every morning and drive them to school. I felt so lucky.
I felt so lucky when he said, “Ten minutes in the car is enough,” and “The girls belong with their mother,” that I didn’t think any more about it until he moved out and a week went by without a request to see them other than on the way to school. So I asked, “Don’t you want to have dinner with them?” and “What about taking them to a movie?” This time he answered, “Will you come with us?” I felt so lucky.
I felt so lucky, so I thought that maybe it wouldn’t be so terrible if he took them one at a time for sleepovers just so they could have some one-on-one “daddy time.” I asked him, “What if you took Amy one night every other weekend and Olivia on the other night? That way I wouldn’t be without both of them at the same time?” He answered, “No, that’s okay. Ten minutes in the car is enough.” I felt so lucky.
I felt so lucky, but I was also concerned that they were being hurt by his choices. It wasn’t that he didn’t love them; he did. He just wasn’t comfortable with little children and preferred to be in the company of grownups. So we continued to do things as a family every weekend — dinners, movies, Amy’s plays, Olivia’s tennis tournaments, and birthdays and holidays, we were together. I felt so lucky.
I don’t believe he was a bad father. He was always within reach and loved them very much. I felt so lucky for me but so sad for them. Ten minutes in the car was not enough.