Project Vic: This is the next in an ongoing series of videos where I blog about my own efforts to walk my talk as a mediator and mend my relationship with my dad. It’s one thing to be a terrific mediator when you’re with strangers dealing with a problem you’re not living with, and quite another to apply those skills when you get home to your family.
Not that I live “at home,” or at least not with my dad, anyway. It’s been quite awhile. But it always amazes me that parents of adult children can forget that they’re still the PARENT and no matter how old the child is, the child is still the CHILD. I’ve got bad news for those of you enjoying your empty nest as the kids go to college and start their own lives….you’re still the mom or the dad.
I still want my dad to be proud of me (my mother passed on in 2010). I don’t care if I’m 47 years old. The sad fact is that he’s never acted like he was proud of me, at least not to my face. Let me take that back. Once, when I gave a talk at the Indiana University Law School circa 2007, both he and my mom seemed proud of me. They didn’t exactly say anything to that effect, but they sort of acted like that. Sort of. Enough for me to connect the dots, anyway.
So Making Divorce Work is my second book. My first book, Your Divorce Advisor, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2001. When I went to my dad’s house back in January, I looked for a copy of Your Divorce Advisor. I’d given him a copy. It appears that he threw it away, because it certainly wasn’t in the house.
And when I asked him the 3 word title to my new book, Making Divorce Work, he said, “Uh, I think it has the word ‘divorce’ in it….” right after he’d attended the book signing party.
My parents (like Howard Stern’s parents!) took great pride in the fact that they didn’t carry photos of their kids in their wallets and that they didn’t trot photos out every time they ran into their friends.
Maybe it’s a function of not having children myself, but I LOVE to see photos of people’s kids and to hear how they’re doing, particularly when the news is good.
Am I in the minority here?
Would you please weigh in as to whether I’m out of my mind for thinking this way (I know I’m out of my mind, of course, but is this attitude why?) in the Comments below?
Parents are always parents, right? And children are always children, right?
Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post