Three generations under one red roof

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Tweens, Teens, Development/Milestones: Babies

How is it that a woman finds herself in her mid-thirties, divorced with three children and living in her mother's house? It is a question I ask myself nearly everyday, for I am just that woman. I have officially hit my mid-thirties, or to be completely honest I hit them over eighteen months ago. I have the three offspring. I am happily divorced. I reside with my mother in the same house where I spent nearly all of my childhood. It is not a turn of events that happened overnight, but rather a process that began nearly fourteen years ago with the birth of my first child.

Last June my three children, ages thirteen, nine, and almost two moved in with my mother after my father unexpetedly died of heart failure. On the morning of June 20th we were an extended family living day to day and functioning in the normal daily ways we all knew. By the end of the day, my mother and I were in an emergency room identifying my father's body and wondering how we were going to survive the next sixty seconds, and a lifetime, without him. My father was devoted to health and fitness, he was a young sixty-five, he was on top of his game professionally, emotionally and family-wise. How his life could come to an end in a matter of seconds was simply beyond our scope of understanding.

Within a few days of my dad's death, I understood that I would not ever return home to live with my partner of fourteen years. The path that had led me to periodically live at my parent's house over the years to escape an unhappy home life had come to an end; I would leave my home, the father of my children and live with my grieving mother.

We have now survived nearly ten months without my father. We are a family of two women, my mother and me, raising my three children. We laugh, we cry, we struggle and we succeed; everyday we do it all. We are not a typical family, nor are we unique. We are simply us: three generations living under the red shingled roof of my childhood home.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.