My friend James died last week. It was unexpected, but in retrospect not a complete surprise. Both my husband and I had been friends with Jim since we were teenagers. He was a few years older than us, always a total badass. Before any of us were old enough to drive, still wearing clothes our mamas picked out, James was already rolling up on a Harley, his arms adorned with tattoos he’d designed. While I was still sharing my parents’ bathroom with my 10 year old sister, Jim had an apartment he paid for All By Himself. Despite his status as the resident cool kid in our circle of friends, James never let it go to his head. He had perfect manners, and was a favorite with all of our parents. After parties, he could be counted on to give any and all of us girls rides home, always getting us safely to the door by curfew and never, ever taking advantage of anyone who had snuck one too many sips of Boone’s Farm. He doted on the same (drop-dead gorgeous, of course) girlfriend for a decade and a half, and it was clear to all that he only had eyes for her. After high school, I moved out of the state and, later, the country, keeping in touch with James sporadically. We met up for coffee most years when...Read More
Author: Margot Andrews
My current title is Legal Consultant, but for many years I practiced family law. During that time, I saw some ugly shit go down, both in and out of the courtroom. Being privy to messy divorce proceedings didn’t keep me from wanting to get married, though, or even from marrying the wrong guy the first time around. That relationship ended before children or joint properties entered the picture, so our divorce, like our marriage, was short and very bittersweet. I am now married to a wonderful man who has a wonderful five year old son from a previous relationship. My stepson’s mom comes from a different school of thought than I, though. No amount of education or life experience could have prepared me for the trials of co-parenting with someone who sees their child as a burden rather than a blessing. Although I’d like to hope that our very different priorities aren’t confusing Zachy, I do worry that living in two households with such different values might screw him up. It has to be tough for a kid to have to abide by a completely separate set of rules in each parent’s house, although he seems to handle it pretty gracefully. For a long time, I felt like I had to decide between trying to adopt a parenting style I am not comfortable with, or risk giving Zach the message that we didn’t agree with Mommy’s...Read More
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