Parenting With and Without Divorce

Charlotte Bismuth
3 min readNov 23, 2021

Sometimes I feel like I’m living on two different planets

Last week, my husband and I played Pictionary with our little girls after dinner for three consecutive nights. Cards spilled on the floor. Pencil points broke under the pressure of eager, clumsy fingers. The three-year-old refused every assignment: “it’s too ha-wd,” she said, shaking her head, before announcing, “I’ll dwaw a ghost.” I pretended to guess what she was drawing. “It’s an egg!” “It’s a cloud!” “It’s a giraffe!” She was so proud when I hazarded my final guess — “wait, is that a GHOST?”

The first night, I was just so happy we’d played. The second night, I thought it was just a lucky break. By the third night, I was ecstatic —we were on the brink of a family tradition! I couldn’t believe it was possible to anchor in something fun.

On Friday night, my son came home from his dad’s. He switches every Friday. He makes the switch alone now, because his older sister just left for college a few months ago. We brought him into the Pictionary game, which meant the girls were climbing on his back while we played. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d played with him. For years, he was switching homes every couple of days, and it was all we could do to maintain a basic routine.

--

--

Charlotte Bismuth

Author of “Bad Medicine: Catching New York’s Deadliest Pill Pusher,” former Manhattan ADA , Columbia Law School grad, occasional legal cartoonist.