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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 56
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
I Believe in Exit 312
Maggie Tansor
Six years ago, my parents made the life altering decision to get a divorce. Initially, I felt like my family was being ripped apart. My dad moved away, my brother wasn’t old enough to understand what was happening, and I felt scared and alone. Eventually it got better as I got older and I adapted to the changes divorce hauled upon our family. Some of you might think that having two parents under the same roof is what makes a nuclear family, and you might be right. Divorce is never ideal, but in my case, it was necessary for how our family communicates now. I believe that we all had to divide and meet back in the middle. I believe in exit 312.
Exit 312 has gotten me to and from many trips to my dads house. This exit has not only created arguments, but has also solved them. The first time we met half way at exit 312, I had no idea it would become part of my monthly routine. My mom, my brother, and I were all at my moms house waiting for my dad to come get us for the weekend. As we were waiting, my mom received a text from my dad asking if just this once, we could meet in the middle. She reluctantly obliged, and we got in the car. As we kept driving down the highway, I thought about how much communication it takes to accomplish even small tasks like these as parents. I felt strange as we kept driving. I recognized most of my surroundings, since I had made the drive to my dads more than 100 times, but it was different in a way. Everything felt like it was moving at a slower pace than normal. After what felt like hours, we finally pulled in to the desolate gas station parking lot. Shortly after our arrival, my dad pulled in next to us in the gray Nisan I despised, mainly because of how bumpy it was when we drove on the interstate. My brother and I said our goodbyes with my mom and our normal “Have a good weekend! I’ll see you Sunday!” I hugged my dad as I watched my mom get back in her car and drive back the way we came. That day, exit 312 became a part of our normal.
As we waited for my dad, I remember asking my mom how she and my dad come to agreements about little things like drop off and pickup, to bigger picture things. She told me that sometimes, coming to agreements while co-parenting is hard, but necessary, and that respect goes a long way. What I took from that statement was that working with people you don’t necessarily get along with can be difficult, but you do it for the people you love. I know that my parents have occasional blips in their communication, but they work it out for me and my brother. I’m thankful for the exit that brought our family it’s occasional Friday and Sunday routine, and I believe that communication can better the people around us. I believe in exit 312.