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It is always difficult for children of divorced parents to negotiate their special events and they dread what should be wonderful celebrations as much as the divorced parents dread the celebration.

The children will imagine the worst scenarios possible, especially when their parents have had no contact since the divorce. This is the situation both my children find themselves in. It is tragic for them both as they worry and panic about their most important events in their lives, in this instance, my son’s graduation and what happens once the ceremony is over?

Both my children were deemed old enough in the eyes of the court to decide who they lived with and when they saw each parent. Sadly, for my ex, they have both chosen to spend most of their time with me. When they do see him they find it stressful and difficult. Why are families so complex?

However, celebrations often require parents to be dutiful. I remember my ex’s father not wanting to attend my son’s christening because he was born out of marriage and therefore was a ‘bastard’ child. This caused much anger and upset with my and ex, however in the end my ex’s father attended my son’s christening and is I am sure forever grateful for that choice.

In a couple of weeks my son will be speaking to an audience of parents, staff and peers, as he and his friend say the leavers’ speeches. It will be a wonderful experience and a very proud moment for me as his mother and yet, selfishly, I realised that I would want to be taking him out that evening to celebrate his success. If I was to be selfish, I would hurt my child as he has to negotiate my ex and my ex’s parents.

I realised this and I hope I have managed to smooth his way. I told him that he, his girlfriend and my daughter, if she chose, should go out with my ex and his parents and I even recommended a really good restaurant that a really close friend took me to once. I did say though that I would not be able to attend an evening meal with them and that we could celebrate another time. In my heart, I knew that another time would not be the same moment in time and I felt that in some way I would be losing out.

And then I found myself sitting on the metro, with my daughter’s head on my son’s shoulders, his arm around her, both with headphones plugged in and I realised that I have hundreds, if not more, special moments with my children and I could gracefully give my ex, this one moment in time.