Emily's class publishes a weekly newsletter that the kids design, write, edit and do not spell check all by themselves. I always look forward to reading it, to see what my own daughter has written and usually to laugh out loud at least once because of some brutally honest thing another kid has said. My current favorite article is from the My Dream Job column, a little piece written by a boy we'll call Jon because that isn't his real name.
But first, some background information: A couple of years ago Jon was "playground married" to a friend of Emily's for a year or so. Personally, I think they should have just stayed friends and focused on their education, or at least waited until graduating from third grade to settle down, but what do I know? I'm just a mom. Besides, it wasn't my daughter, so I stayed out of it.
The young couple was happy for a couple of months, but then little things started happening, small annoyances, differences of opinion, disagreements about PDA* and so on. Eventually they devolved to the point of constant bickering & fighting. After trying to work things out, Jon's wife "playground divorced" him. I suppose because he was so young, and he really didn't see it coming, Jon did not accept her rejection gracefully at all. He pestered her non-stop about getting back together, and when that didn't work he began stalking her, which he really didn't have the time or stamina for, so then he resorted to vague, passively-aggressive threats. His "ex-wife" had a passel of supportive friends, stood her ground and wasn't swayed to come back.
Finally Jon accepted the "divorce" and then primarily occupied himself by going around insisting that all of their mutual friends choose between them, of course siding with him. This was a resounding failure as no one wanted to take sides in the first place, and his high-pressure tactics certainly did not incline anyone to choose him, the demanding little "playground husband/extortionist" as I came to fondly think of him. Pretty soon the cheese stood alone, as they say. He was lonely & bitter for a long time, too long, longer than the duration of the "marriage" in fact, and seemed wholly unable to move on with his life. The only bright spot I could find in the whole mess was to hope he had learned something valuable & lasting early on, when the cost of such life lessons is a lot cheaper, monetarily anyway. No expensive lawyers, no alimony or child support payments, no stereo and/or computer equipment to replace, no hot car to buy for cruising younger, first-grade women to be seen with, etc.
But now, today reading the newsletter I see that Jon seems to have re-focused his energy on his studies, his career and his writing. (Yes, I'm finally winding back around to that.) In the newsletter he writes:
My dream job is to be a mechanic. A mechanic fixes cars and tunes them up. He might also beat it down for parts. A mechanic might be able to do that to customers cars and I would like to be one!
Such a nice boy. I wish him all good things, as I'm sure his very relieved "ex-wife" does too.
* Public Displays of Affection. I'm old.