Friday night one of my favorite singers came to do her thing at the club. I was psyched. I didn't see her enter; I was busy greeting the huge crowd she'd attracted. Then I saw her; well, she and her little family. Her 5 year old boy and 7 year old girl were with her; and they both had colds. Try as she may, she explained, a sitter was not to be found that night. So she brought 'em along.

This young lady had asked her philandering husband for a divorce over a year ago, and he granted her one; and a good settlement to go along. But the guy's just a dick, he may make a lotta money, but only God knows how. He's clueless about how he ought to behave when he's got custody of the kids. Or maybe he just criticizes the kids' mom out of spite.

The really sad thing about Friday night was that the bastard had gotten married (yeah, nearly exactly a year to the day from the divorce) just two days prior. The five-year-old was afraid that, even though my friend had the bulk of the custody, somehow he was going to "get a new mommy." The seven-year old had seen through his behavior years before, and really didn't like him. Bully for her! But it was a bittersweet night for this little family of three.

The little one asked for his mommy when she got her cue and went onstage to sing. I had to go on-mic and give her the big "let's give ... a big warm welcome; a greeting, a description of her records and then a huge "take it awayyyyy!" When I got back to the booth the little fellow was crying, and just feeling really, really bad. Been there, done that. And it sucks. All I wanted to do was get ahold of the little guy's father and let loose with a Louisville Slugger for about five minutes. But that would do neither of them any good. And I felt helpless 'cause I couldn't just fix him. Or fix things for all three of 'em.

I wondered why this guy married my friend. Now, she's very good looking. She's no dummy, either. In fact, the simple fact that she decided to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that a career in show business undoubtedly brings sooner or later says a lot for her. And this while playing soccer-mom to her kids, and spending the days with them, and loving them like few mothers I've seen love their kids. I guess her husband decided that the grass was greener on the other side and started playing the field when my friend was in New York or Hollywood either performing or recording. What a great setup for a sociopath who's got it all but still wants more. I'm not sure but I get the feeling that getting married and starting a family was some sort of family or corporate prerequisite. Something he did to get into somebody's good graces.

 When I left the club, the little guy was sleeping soundly, covered with his coat and a blankie. His sister was playing video games on the computer in my office, and thanked me for it. I waved goodbye to my friend, as she sang, and she waved goodbye to me.

Now these days the incidence of divorce is so much higher than when I was a wee one of five..Back then, even the smallest spat between my folks would incite in me a fear that one or the other of them would leave (after all, my cousin Timmy's daddy left him and my aunt, and they couldn't afford to live in a house any more).

Why this rambling? Perhaps it's 'cause I'm grateful that today I take care of my oh-so-sensitive self. And I'd rather that I hurt a bit thinking about my friend and her two kids, than not feel at all. For the more I feel, the more I become aware of how wonderful and precious life is.