The latest wave of weirdness is this new thing where parents have to tell you if they love their children more than their spouses, or vice versa. Because calibrating your love barometer is an important source of life data. Because you can apply a regression model to determine that love as a function of x, and then:
- extrapolate that love to predict ordinate love levels throughout the life of the abscissa;
- use the first derivative to determine the instantaneous rate of change of that love at any moment;
- use the second derivative to determine if your love has reached an inflection point (and it’s time to see a couples therapist); and
- integrate that love function to calculate the aggregate amount of love you have received.
If all this feels like complete nonsense, your table is waiting here in the Restaurant of Every Parent in the World.
I can get as Socratic as the next fella and agree that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t spend so much time writing about mine. But caring about ranking your loved ones? Sheesh.
I might not be qualified to weigh in on this discussion anyway, since the mother of my kids (MOMK) and I are divorced. So of course, I love my kids more. I understand that puts me among the 75% of parents who agree. But here’s the thing: At least you Still Marrieds get to include your spouse in the running. And I envy that.
It’s not that I want to get back with the MOMK, or regret divorcing her in the first place. I realize now how necessary the divorce was, and how this two-household arrangement is working out much better than the intact one ever could have. But I admit I’m nagged by the truth that I’ll never know how it feels to build a long-lasting partnership with the person I created life with. And that’s kind of a drag.
It seems like deluded optimism to assert that this is possible, but I’ve seen it. These couples aren’t the most prevalent majority by a long shot, but they exist. I even know a few. Pairs of people who are committed to Figuring It Out. To living the adventure of another person. To a much more fractured extent, this is my goal with the MOMK, except I get to date other people. Which isn’t so bad, some of the time. Other times, it’s just plain exhausting.
If you’re still with the Mother Of Your Kids (MOYK), and you’re able to even include them in your Love Standings, rejoice. It’s a rarer than people think. Much rarer than, say, someone listing “calculus” among their interests on a dating profile.
Read more from Doug on his personal blog, Laid-Off Dad.
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