My friend Rachel Sarah (Single Mom Seeking) interviewed Mary Pols, author of Accidentally on Purpose. Check it out.
I have to say, seeing and meeting Mary and her son, Dolan, for me, helped me see how wonderfully she and Dolan's father, Matt, have worked out their arrangement. I didn't meet Matt, I was only there for one night where Mary cooked Rachel and I an insanely good meal and the best brownies I've ever eaten, and in the morning we took a little walk through town. But I was hanging out with Dolan and I think we were talking about his Looney Tunes DVDs and he was just so casual about telling me which stuff he keeps at his dad's.
My parents split up when I was two, so it's not like I remember them being together, but my experience of divorced parents, there was always a sense of discord, mild or not. Yes, there was my mom's, where I grew up, and then my dad's various places, and there were great things about getting to spend so much time with each of them one on one. But I'm talking about the difference between the sense of tension between divorced parents, and ones who are simply co-parenting. I don't know, but based on my limited observations, that extreme tension is not there between Mary and Matt, and I think that makes their son much better off.
Back to the interview...quote from Mary Pols on dating now that her son is five:
“While it’s great to feel like a woman again, and be appreciated as something other than purely a mother, I find myself going out into the world with rules I should have had for myself all along.”
“Such as: Is he really worth upsetting my equilibrium over? Is he ambivalent? Is he still pulling the kind of crap guys do at 30? Because if so – no hard feelings, but forget about it. I don’t need the hassle. Or the drama. And I’ve already got a boy in my life who I have to teach to be well-behaved. I don’t need another one…”
I think anyone who wants to write a book, whatever the topic, should definitely check out Mary's blog. She links to fascinating pieces, like a recent Poets & Writers editors' roundtable, and gives the backstory of her gorgeous hardcover cover. The big baby on the paperback version from Harper Perennial? I'm not really a fan, but I also have a feeling it'll sell books. Oh, and she gives the scoop on the crazy process of having her memoir, aka her life, turned into a sitcom!
In October, I'm going back to San Francisco for Litquake (the reading is October 15th, which I agreed to before realizing it's also the night of In The Flesh, which I'm either going to move or get a guest host for). I am excited for that, but also excited to head across the Bay and hang with these two awesome moms and their kids again. That was the best part of my trip last time.
Read more about Accidentally on Purpose on Mary Pols' site.