I have never met Oriah Mountain Dreamer, but she set me on the path to write about co-parenting after divorce. She inspired me with her books: ‘The Invitation”, “The Dance” and others. She writes tender, vulnerable thoughts full of what is possible.
It was three pages in “The Dance” that grabbed me years ago, where she described helping her young adult sons prepare to take part in their father’s remarriage ceremony. She saw them so clearly: their self-doubts, their hopes of looking cool, their trying to sort through social rituals like escorting women up the aisle in church. I loved her for that. Then her own bittersweet feelings, of pride, regret, anxiety, and hope for the future seeped through the pages and I was stunned.
I had never seen my own mixed-up feelings on co-parenting reflected on a page in a book. Suddenly, I felt not alone. I had company on my journey with my own teenage sons, and it felt wonderful. I had no idea a few pages of text could impact me so deeply. Understanding her feelings helped me to see my own more clearly, and to have more compassion for us both.
When I realized that the inside experience of mothers and fathers – their feelings and thoughts — wasn’t reflected in the books available, I realized that ‘someone’ should write a book, and that ‘someone’ would be ME. I was living co-parenting; I interviewed people on sensitive topics as part of my work; and I had decent writing skills.
It took years to even begin, and more years to find a range of other parents to interview, but the book, Co-Parent Stories: Harvest of Hope, is nearly done. I hope and believe it will do for other parents what those few pages did for me, and more.
Oriah, thank you.