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13 December, 2003

Good start to a family's christmas

Yesterday afternoon my friend A (initial changed) attended her young daughter's school nativity play.  Also present were her ex-husband (B), his new partner - and their baby.  Bringing the baby was kind of a ****y thing to do, not only hurting A but also (successfully) giving an impression of B as a great father, a paragon of family life.
The daughter (call her C) was due to go home with her father, but as they were leaving, C ran back to her mother; she didn't want to go with B.  The shared custody situation, and poor relationship between the parents, meant it just wasn't an option for C to stay with A.
This is so tragic.  As A was telling me a couple of hours later, I couldn't think of anything meaningful to say, beyond platitudes.  What can one say?  No, at the age of 4-5, C won't understand the restrictions placed on the parents.  Yes, she will blame A for 'rejecting' her.  Yes, there is a good chance that such instances will be remembered in some way, and affect their future relationship.

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