I have worked with children of divorced parents and I tried to imagine what is like to be in two different homes every other few days.
I was talking to a High school patient who described what is like to have two rooms, two homes, two parents, and stepparents, with totally opposite views about child-rearing practices. She had accepted this at her age and now that the fights between her parents had subsided she was able to immerse in these two homes and subtract what she found better for her.
As I was reading this poem published May 8 2022 in the NEW YORK TIMES magazine by Ada Limon I thought she was able to capture what this girl was feeling.
Here is the poem:
JOINT CUSTODY By ADA LIMON
Why did I never see it for what it was:
abundance. Two families, two different
kitchen tables, two sets of rules, two
creeks,two highways,two stepparents
with their fish tanks or eight tracks or
cigarette smoke or expertise in recipes or
reading skills. I cannot reverse it, the record
scratched and stopping to that original
chaotic track. But let me say, I was taken
back and forth on Sundays and it was not easy
but I was loved each place. And so I have
two brains now. Two entirely different brains.
The one that always misses where I’m not,
The one that is so relieved to finally be home.