How Timely... Tribeza Gives My Navigating Co-Parenting Column A Nod as A Favorite of 2022
And I just happen to be on a road trip with him navigating our driving
Of course I received an announcement that the staff at Tribeza had named my column about navigating co-parenting with an ex as one of their favorites while I’m with him in a minivan coming back from N.M.
After returning from visiting my Oma earlier in the month and hearing her talk about wanting to see both of my children sooner than later because she is convinced she is not going to be around much longer, I got inspired to bring my family to her for the holiday.
Which meant loading a minivan with (sang like the 12 Days of Christmas)
3 French Bulldogs,
Two young adults
And an Ex who has chosen to co-parent with me.
I called the trip Rage Against the Minivan mostly because that’s funny AF, but also because it was acknowledged by Pinkus (the infamous co-parent) and I as soon as we all loaded in the car that his driving or my navigation skills, still up for debate, was probably and continues to be the greatest unresolved fight and quite possibly the demise of our relationship.
There was a point at which I started meeting him at the kids sporting events because I couldn’t deal with what I’ll refer to as his road rage. Insert air quotes. He would insist that my sense of direction or lack thereof and criticisms of his driving (let’s call that objective commentary) are what cause his rage.
On it goes…
On our final night in Santa Fe he and I were having dinner alone. Nick had returned to Austin to celebrate his 22nd birthday with friends, Faith was out with a fellow Parsons student who was from Santa Fe exploring the town. We were talking over delicious tacos, discussing the kids and plans to take my mothers ashes to Germany.
I paused and looked at him, ‘Thank you for doing this. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you spending your holidays with my Oma in Alamogordo and driving us.’
“Of course, mama. You and the kids are my family.”
His words are exemplified by his actions year after year.
On our drive home yesterday I finally got to take over the wheel. For that 1.5 hours I didn’t feel like we were going to die or compete in a drag race with the cars in front of us until he pleaded with me…
‘Please, please pull over. Every car is passing you.’
I said ‘It’s okay. Those cars alert the animals to stay off the road so it’s clear when I come.’
‘That only works if you keep up with those cars’, he said.
‘But there are more coming up from behind…’
‘Please pull over.’
So we traded his agitation in for my nervousness but then he agreed to go 5 mph slower to ease my nerves.
And this is how we are and how we do.
I hear from many, many people in our lives how much they respect the relationship we have continued despite not being romantically involved. I’m grateful that my mind has expanded beyond the traditional relational constructs we have been offered.
They are so limiting and we miss out on what IS possible.
Below you will find the column along with a review that made my year so far as my writing is concerned.
FROM SUMMER, TRIBEZA DIGITAL
Tribeza’s dating and romance columnist Ashley Kelsch always offers a thoughtful and funny outlook when it comes to life and relationships, but this piece in particular stands out to me as one of our most compelling stories of the year. Detailing her unconventional parenting situation and family structure, Kelsch offers a valuable perspective on accepting the unpredictable things life throws at you and making difficult choices to benefit your loved ones. The story differs from our usual content, but still presents a look at the fascinating people and experiences that make up Austin. — Meher Qazilbash, Digital Editor
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