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Life

Sometimes, Two Homes Are Better Than One

When I was three and a half years old, my parents split up. For some odd reason, I vividly remember the time when my parents were still  together. We lived on top of a small hill surrounded by forest, in a house that smelled of damp wood. I remember “sneakily” crawling into bed with them when I would have a nightmare or wanted to watch Jeopardy, believing at the time that I knew exactly what was going on, now realizing I just liked the sounds and the neon colours that would light up the letters when the guest was correct. I remember when Dad would come home from a 15 hour day of work, Mom holding me on her hip as she cooked her famous spaghetti, and me yelling “DADDY!”, my arms extended out to him, excited for a big hug.

I remember after dinner we would all jump on the plaid-coloured couches and have a dance party to “It’s a Beautiful Day” by U2. I remember playing in the leaves and going to the cottage with them - together. I remember holding both their hands on either side of me, giggling as they would swing me as we walked into the grocery store. The love they shared (and still do, of course) for me was unreal, and I think that’s why I was so confused when I suddenly had two homes.

I was confused when I was suddenly told “It’s your Dad’s weekend,” and I would drive off in his car wondering why Mom wasn’t with us. I was confused when they stood five feet apart when they talked and never kissed each other again. I was confused when they explained to me that they were getting a divorce.

I don’t know why I remember this small chapter of my life so well. My life has always been two homes, two holidays, two families, two of everything. But these three and a half years (or however far my memory goes back to) are still with me. I am not complaining, I am incredibly lucky, but I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have grown up in the house on the hill as one family, with one of everything.

Divorce is not easy, and for others it’s a much more difficult process than I have experienced. I am lucky to have had amazing relationships with both of my parents and to have been able to see them equally throughout the incredible life they’ve given me. But sometimes I would wish that I could have seen both of them, all the time, rather than half.

What’s more important to me, however, is their happiness. Almost all parents say, “My happiness is contingent on my child’s.” Well, I believe children reciprocate this feeling - I sure have. I want my parents to be happy, because if they’re not happy, then I’m not happy. I would rather them find their true fish in the sea than feel anchored in a relationship that no longer brings them happiness. I say this because in the event I were to get a divorce, I’d hope that someday my kid feels the same.

Divorce has a prominent reputation as being something that is tense, bad, and ugly. It’s easily stereotyped this way because it is the end of a marriage; it’s the end of a long relationship with many complexities and memories in between;  it’s the end of vows that promised to live and die together.

However, I have never viewed divorce this way - not ever. When I hear about someone’s parents getting a divorce, the first thought I have is, “That’s really unfortunate.” However, I quickly think to what divorce truly means. It means that those two individuals can now find the person that they were truly meant to spend the rest of their lives with. Although it’s the ending of a predominantly good chapter, it’s also the opening of a new, exciting one - one where they can perhaps find their soulmate. I believe every human being deserves to find their soulmate.

I am happy that my parents are divorced. I am happy because my life would have been incredibly different otherwise. I am happy because they are happy with the people they are meant to be with.

I heard a song called “When You Love Someone” by James TW for the first time earlier this year. When I heard it, I cried. I cried because of its truth. I cried because I hope every individual hears this song if their parents get a divorce. I hope that anyone of any age who experiences divorce knows that it will all be okay; that some things in life are not meant to be; and that I promise something good and better will come out of it.

Regardless if your parents are divorced or not, I hope you can realize and appreciate that sometimes, two homes are better than one.

Hailey Rodgers is from a small town called Westport, Ontario and is in her third year of Commerce at Queen's University. She loves to travel, meet new people, and learn. Hailey's passion for adventure and sharing her experiences is illustrated in her writing. 
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