If my parents broke up when I believed they did, I gestated to screams and shouts, the sounds of a relationship gone sour.
There's another story I tell people about my parents' relationship, one that's ingrained in me that also might be bullshit. It begins with my mother on the phone with my father. Upset, if I recall, but then again maybe not. The fight – argument, conversation, whatever – was about who would drive. The deal we had was that my mother drove us to our father's Friday after school. Sunday afternoon, after church, our father brought us home (he didn't like that we called that house "home," but as kids, there was no way that a place we stayed two nights a week merited the same recognition in our hearts as the one we stayed in for five). That schedule never varied. The problem this time was that neither of my parents wanted to drive the entire round-trip journey in the middle of a snowstorm.
"At least we didn't pit you against each other." Every kid's heard that one. Sure, they didn't, not directly. Our mum always told us not to feel bad when we blew off our dad. That it was OK. Did it stem from her feelings from him? We listened to her. Maybe we would have felt the same way without her advice, but still, that helped. Is it our dad's fault that we weren't close enough with him to get his perspective? On the other hand, does he get points for never saying the same thing? Because all us kids keep score, biased as it may be.
I only saw my parents fight in person once. That's the beauty of being too young to remember their split.
Fight all yours may, at least you get to say, "my mum and my dad."