An Unbroken Home

It seemed like a cringe-worthy moment. The type of “Earmuffs” moment where you want to wrap your hands around your child’s ears so they won’t hear the comments about to made. It’s parental anticipation — a Superhero skill where we can feel an obscenity about to be uttered or a discussion of a racy or touchy topic about to be broached.

But I was unable to shield my 4-year-old’s virgin ears. Instead, he enlightened my ears with a comment that I will not forget until I take my last breath.

We were in church and during the service a church leader was speaking about a new project — supporting a temporary home for children in crisis. The video that played to the congregation about the topic was carelessly chosen and full of words we try to avoid around our kids — murder, suicide, drugs, guns, violence. The children in the video were described as being from “broken” homes.

Every parent squirmed in their seat, anticipating inevitable questions from our children after the service.

As the video ended, my son, speaking loudly enough for the entire congregation to hear said, “My home will never be broken.”

“My home will never be broken.”

My eyes watered. Goosebumps popped up on my skin. I wanted to hug and squeeze my son and reassure him that, “No. Your home will never be broken.”

The comment carried extra significance for me because my home was broken. There wasn’t any violence. Or drugs. Or murder. I didn’t feel like my sister and I were in crisis. But, it was broken nonetheless once my parents divorced. And no matter how the pieces are fitted together as we age and grow up, that part of my family will always be broken.

Choosing a mate took on extra meaning for me because I wanted as close to an assurance as I could get that my wife and I would never have to sit down with our children and explain to them that Mommy and Daddy were splitting up. I went through it as a 14-year-old. I never want to be on the other side of that conversation.

The fact that my wife also endured her parent’s divorce helped forge a bond between us that was deeper than I found with my other girlfriends. And when we stood before each other, our families & our God and vowed to love one another until the end of our days, I viewed that also as a vow that our home — the one we created with love, trust and devotion to each other — might bend but would not break.

It isn’t always easy. And I’m often reminded of a scene from the movie, “In Good Company” where a young man with a failed marriage under his belt questions a middle-aged man in the midst of a successful one:

CONNOR: “Dan, you seem to have the perfect marriage. How do you do it?”
DAN: “You just pick the right one to be in the foxhole with, and then when you’re outside of the foxhole you keep your (junk) in your pants.”
CONNOR: “That’s poetic.”

My wife and I argue, complain, nag and irritate each other. Yet, she is a fierce supporter of mine, a woman who has my back and knows and values the best person that I can be. And I her. That’s a pretty strong foundation on which to build this house that we share.

And, my son, cherish this promise from your father — your mother and I love one another, respect one another and have you and your brother’s best interests at heart day in and day out. We made a vow to keep our home intact and unbroken. You have my word.

Comments

The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

When Faith Requires Saying No to…

I’ve chosen a life of faith. I am an observant Jew … [Read Article]

6 Bad Habits to Kick Before…

Everyone has a couple of bad habits they’ve had a … [Read Article]

Arnie. Part IV.…

Today, we brought over my girlfriend Cathy. She … [Read Article]