On Sunday, I was walking home from the subway when I saw a little girl clinging tightly to her mother and crying hysterically. Her father stood awkwardly a few feet away, and I heard the mom say “it’s okay, go with daddy,” as she climbed back into her car. I could hear the girl’s cries as I continued down the block, and I looked back when I reached the end to see her desperately hugging her mom again.
It’s obvious that what I witnessed was the parent to parent hand-off of a broken home. It was so sad to see because it’s always sad to see little girls crying, but also because I feel her pain. I was 23 years old when my parents split up, an adult, and I’ve struggled with whether it’s better or worse than being a kid when it happened. No matter your age, it sucks, and though we all deal with it differently, being a child of divorce is something that stays with you. Every visit when I have to choose how to divide my time, when I worry about everyone getting along at my wedding in September, each time I go back and forth like a ping pong ball, whenever I see the pain and hurt and anger in my parents’ eyes, I’m screaming too…you just can’t hear it.
Plato said, “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” You may not hear their screams, you may not see their tears, they may be smiling on the outside, but that doesn’t mean they’re not hurting inside.