VOICES: Not what I imagined, but better than I expected

Following parents’ divorce, Micah Barrientos learns to deal with sometimes tough situation

Micah Barrientos, Opinion writer




It all started when I was 5 and my mom packed her bags and left the house.

She never came back.

It was rough for me when my mom and dad divorced, not like it was for my sisters who, at 17 and 18, were already practically grown. I wanted my parents to be together as I grew up.

The hardest part was moving away from my mom. I still saw her sometimes, but I knew nothing was going to be the same. I wasn’t going to have that mother figure in my life like I always imagined: we weren’t going to be able to do “girl things” together, like shopping or makeovers. With just my dad around, I had to learn to do things on my own, like my hair.

I only go to see my mom on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m., and every other weekend. What hurt me even more was that I didn’t get to spend the holidays or special occasions with the both of them. It hated spending the Fourth of July with one parent and not the other.

I started having two birthdays, and splitting the holidays, spending Christmas Eve with my mom and Christmas Day with my dad. I also had two Thanksgivings. I tried my best not to eat too much at one house, so I had room for the other. I hated having two of everything . I wanted to have them together in one room, without any problems.

As I grew older, things changed even more. My dad met a girl at work; they have been together for almost eight years now. My mom found a new boyfriend as well. But all of these changes ultimately made things better: After a few years, I was able to see my mom more and more. Then my parents started getting along better, for my sake. I like to see them laugh and have a good time with each other. It’s not what I always imagined, but it’s a better situation than I expected.