Grace in all things


mother and baby hippo

“She’s just like her mother. Got just about as much grace as a baby hippo.”

For a moment, she could only stare slack-jawed at Jasper for his insensitive remark.

“I can’t believe you said that.” Angela crossed her arms in defiance, keeping her voice low. “Beth is your own daughter.”

A look of contempt hung on his face. “That wench turned her against me, telling her lies. She’s not my daughter.”

“Now, you’re acting like a petulant child. She’s is a kid in a terrible situation, and her parents are pulling her apart by forcing her to take sides.”

Jasper shook his head, trying to keep Angela’s arguments from taking hold. He believed his ex-wife’s behavior justified his anger, and that any relationship with his child was lost. All because that harridan he once thought he would love forever was poisoning Beth’s mind.

“If you shut Beth out of your life, then she’ll have no choice but to believe her mother.” Angela suspected she was pleading for the tween’s life. “The relationship a girl has with her father can affect every other male relationship she has during her life. You have to keep trying. Keep the lines of communication open.”

Jasper felt his anger bubbling under the surface, and didn’t want Angela lecturing him about his parenting skills.

“What could you possibly know about it, you don’t even have any children.” Despite his agitation, Jasper immediately regretted his retort, seeing the hurt on Angela’s face.

“You’re right, I don’t, but I am a child of a contentious divorce.” Angela fought down her own barded response. “My parents did the same thing to me that you and Beth’s mom are doing to her. I loved both of them, so I always felt that I disappointed each of them. It caused a huge rift between us that is only now healing.”

Jasper’s frown deepened.

“Just show a little grace yourself and call Beth, and keep reaching out.”

The Trifecta challenge this week is: Grace [ noun \grās\]
3a: a charming or attractive trait or characteristic
3b : a pleasing appearance or effect
3c : ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

15 Comments Add yours

  1. KymmInBarcelona says:

    Been on both sides of that tale. Grace is the hardest to hang onto there!


  2. I feel like I’m watching my friends go through this with their families right now. You hit the nail on the head. Thank you for linking up, Tara. Don’t forget to come back and vote for your top three.


  3. Jen says:

    I don’t know where this story came from, but it is right on. This is the very best advice, I hope it helps someone.


  4. Oh, this is painfully authentic. I’ve seen so many divorced parents let their resentment impact their children. Kids aren’t pawns or bargaining chips. So sad. Great job with this piece. :)


  5. Valerie says:

    This is so true what you’ve written-especially about the relationship a girl has with her father. Mine was a source of much pain and guilt that I’m still trying to overcome-though the relationship is much better now. Very wise words here Tara!


  6. Draug419 says:

    I’m a child of two contentious divorces. I definitely know the feeling of being manipulated by one parent against another. The bad thing is you don’t even realize what’s going on except in hindsight and with a few more years’ of growing up. That’s why supportive parents are so helpful.


  7. debseeman says:

    OK. I’m going to get this out of the way right off. LOVE the picture! I am a hippo addict who needs an intervention. I have around 200 different hippo figurines scattered throughout my house. There. That’s done. Now, sadly, this piece is perfectly written. I’ve seen the aftermath of divorce in my family and in my husbands family and unfortunately, Angela is right. I only hope Jasper listens to her and does the right thing for Beth.


  8. jannatwrites says:

    Good for Angela for fighting for her. I’ve seen this happen, relationships ruined by divorce, and it’s so sad. Sometimes letting go is the best (or only) option, but it’s never an easy choice.


  9. If we are lucky enough to be children of divorced parents who don’t enter into that kind of behaviour, then we should be very pleased. My parents never said a bad word about each other, but I have seen this kind of behaviour very close at hand, and it’s horrible to see the impact. Very well written.


  10. Kir Piccini says:

    oh. Oh my. I am not the child of divorce but I know that other children who are and this is such a deep, responsive piece about them.
    We can’t help falling out of love, or divorces that are sometimes kinder than staying together, but the children that are a product of those unions should not be caught in the split..they need to continue to be supported, loved and honored.

    it was so well written.


  11. Lance says:

    well crafted. I like their dynamic and the dialogue carried the whole scene


  12. atrm61 says:

    Angela is so right-leaving the lines of communication open is the best!Whenever a marriage breaks,it is the children who suffer the most-in India,this is a modern phenomenon ,so we are yet to see it manifest but abroad it is much more common I believe.Very sensitively handled & well written as always Tara:-)Feels good to be back among such wonderful writers like you .


  13. I absolutely love the tension here and what it suggests for Jasper and Angela’s future as much as for his and Beth’s. Also. Jasper. Awesome name.


  14. Lou Lohman says:

    I SO know and understand this situation. Well written – and it shows great understanding.


    1. Tara R. says:

      Unfortunately, I also have more personal knowledge about such things than I would like.


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