Yarn Along – A Book I’ve already finished and a Cowl I have to stop knitting.

Another week of Yarn Along

five by five cowl

In a post very much like this one, at the beginning of December I promised that I would finally finish reading The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce by Judith S. Wallerstein. And I did.

It wasn’t an easy read, but luckily for my my husband had read it first (when I first got it out of the library) and so I could look at him and talk about a particular chapter and he knew exactly what I was talking about.

It’s hard to find the words to explain how important this book is. (Made harder by the fact at least one of my parents sporadically reads this blog…) But important it is, because when you experience divorce as a child, it has a profound effect on you. Or rather it has a series of profound effects on you, that come up again and again throughout your life. For me, it was a relief to realise that was normal, rather than indulgent or a case of wallowing.

This book revisits a number of people, 25 years after they were part of a study looking at the effects of divorce on children. (They were revisited after 18 months, 3 years, 5 years, 15 years and 25 years I think – though I’m working from memory there, so the numbers might only be generally right. ) It also compares a number of the case studies with similar people who came from intact families, to see how they differed.

This is what I took away from the book:

Children of divorce are quick to grow up but slow to mature. Without positive relationship role models they find it hard to trust romantic relationships in general and either throw themselves into marriage on a whim very young, or settle down much later.

Most come from families where the death of the marriage was quiet and thus the split up and divorce was a huge shock that was never properly explained to them. (Only the children from violent marriages that got divorced had improved out comes, overall. For the rest of the people interviewed, divorce made their lives harder, not easier.)

Visitation, in general, sucks.

In an intact family, the parents are on the sidelines, helping their children along but staying ‘behind the curtain’ while the children are on the stage of their own childhood (wonky metaphor?) whereas during/after a divorce the parents get on stage and might never get off again, their children (even as adults) always on the look out for/dealing with potential blow ups or tensions at – for example – family gatherings etc.

Basically – though not all of that reflects my own experiences, I found I learned a huge amount about myself having read this book, and really would recommend it to anyone who went through divorce as a child or teenager (as well as adults contemplating divorce – there is tons of information about how you can make your child’s life more manageable.)

An important book then. Even if it doesn’t have all the answers.

And on to the knitting…

five by five cowl

This is a cowl that I am going to have to stop knitting, because I have the baby blanket to finish knitting, and the shawl for my midwife to finish both spinning and knitting. (I spun the knit the first half in the late summer.)

It is the Five by Five Cowl by Felicia Lo knit in two strands of — (which I bought from the new yarn shop in Oxford, which I will link to as soon as I can find any sign of them online!) and a strand of Old Maiden Aunt Yarns Laceweight (the pattern calls for mohair but I didn’t have any, and anyway I don’t need to be *that* warm down here in the south of England. 🙂

It’s 52″ long, and I’m about a third of the way through. Ideally it would be lovely to finish before spring, but with these other projects, plus a couple more for the baby that I have my eye on, that might be a step too far. In which case it won’t be the first time that I’ve finished something and had to put it away for a good six months before it gets any use.

(At least when you get it out on the first cold day, you feel you’ve received a lovely present from past-you. 🙂





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