It is the great human tragedy to fall in love with someone just long enough to create a human being and thereafter come to hate the other parent so perfectly that you would do anything real or imagined to cause them never-ending pain.
Searing pain that leaves grotesque, psychological scarring.
How many parties to the Family Court fantasize about clutching a voodoo doll of their former fling. Pins and staplers and matches in hand.
What would you do if you had that doll?
And even this – EVEN THIS – most basic, simple joy, this bliss that follows us from our Neanderthal days of wanting only the absolute worst for your ex for so long as you both live, even this cannot be properly enjoyed because, alas, whatever befalls them befalls your child. Sooner or later, one way or another. You are never rally separated now.
So instead of schadenfreude, instead of the irritating itch of jealousy finally scratched, of endless blithe brunches enjoying their misfortune, instead of all this there is guilt.
She loses her job – Tommy loses his insurance.
He loses the (new) love of his life – Tommy loses a confidante (kids will open up to parent’s significant others in ways they don’t feel comfortable with their parents).
She loses her apartment – Tommy has to go to a new school. And he is so introverted already.
He finally got that DUI you knew was inevitable – Tommy was in the car.
Like it or hate it you and your former are bound together forever. Not until 18. Not until that aneurism you keep dreaming they have that lands them in a two-star nursing home. For. Ever. This beautiful child you made at the height of a relationship you’d rather forget is a daily reminder of what was, what went wrong, and what could have been.
And that child will love both of you so perfectly, in exactly the way that you could not seem to love one another. And they will make it look easy. And life keeps going. What is more human than that?