Well, tonight was the last of my 6-session co-parenting class at Kids' Turn. I have to say I was disappointed with the class on the whole. It wasn't really much about co-parenting at all. We spent two entire weeks covering the concept of emotional intelligence, as spelled out by Daniel Goleman and a good amount of time covering concepts as basic as how to show your child you love him. For the first time today (aside from off-the-curriculum side-conversations peppered throughout the sessions), we actually talked about navigating the challenges and sometimes the conflict that comes with working together as two separated parents. It was a very helpful session, and there was consensus that if the entirety of the class had been spent covering this topic, it would have been very beneficial indeed.
Nevertheless, it was my aim to get something positive out of the class, and I did. And one of the somethings positive I got was the benefit of new friendships with people who are busily and sometimes painfully trying to weather this same stormy bit of weather, also with young kids in tow.
It seemed necessary to seal these new friendships and celebrate graduation from the program over a beer.
Like I mentioned before, it was really nice that the class took place at a neighborhood center in the North Beach area of San Francisco. I can scarcely imagine a more lively and colorful setting, or one with better food options nearby. One of the participants ordered a pizza tonight that was walked straight to our little meeting place.
When the last session ended tonight, some of my classmates and I headed to a microbrewery called Rogue. I just realized in looking for that link that it's actually a large, Oregon-based company (of course...why does it seem that all the cool stuff I hear about lately is coming out of Oregon?) and we were at just one of what they call their "meeting halls" (and the only one in California). That makes sense because I'd been wondering how that mid-sized bar managed to pull off two full chalkboards' worth of ale and cider options.
In honor of the occasion, I felt the following was in order:
Today's New Activity: A Pint of "Love and Happiness Wedding Pilsner"
Which, by the way, I ordered and consumed without a hint of sarcasm. Really. No, really.
One thing being in the company of my classmates has reminded me of is that we are all just a bunch of faulted humans doing the best we can, sometimes falling into love, sometimes falling out, sometimes confused and sometimes experiencing great joy, great pain, big sweeping highs, sad, floundering lows. Love is there. Happiness is there. There will be dozens more weddings to celebrate in my lifetime, and I will celebrate them happily, wishing the new couple the best and holding onto every sincere belief that they will traverse the terrain just fine, and in good spirits throughout.