I have spent a great deal of time working with a team, most significantly and most recently in the sport of CrossFit.
I get how much compromise is involved.
I get how fun and hard it can be to balance out so many different personality types.
I get how much you need to be willing to give and take from the other members of your team.
I get how important it is to have a single value and/or goal in mind that always serves as your beacon, your guiding light, and that which you base all decisions off of.
I get how much patience it requires, and how much you need to remember how everything eventually comes full circle. And, how important it is to remember that people are often being patient with you.
I get how putting effort into the little things, and moments, often means more the big ones. And, nothing trumps putting in effort that isn’t being watched or eventually ever seen.
I get how looking for praise for your own personal accomplishments or contributions actually just takes away from the greatness of them. You do things for the team, not for yourself.
And, I get how every member of a team serves a very unique role, and it is everyone’s responsibility to rise to the occasion when it’s their turn to contribute. And, know when it’s not.
While I’ve learned all of these great lessons from teams like my high school cheerleading squads, soccer teams, race teams, and my more recent teams in CrossFit that have gone together as far as 2nd place in the world, I never realized at the time how much all of it would spill over into the most important team I have ever been a part of:
It’s our little co-parenting team that has grown over the last 10 years since Alex met his wife, Liza, and I met Ben. And, it’s probably the “best” team I’ve ever been part of.
We’re not perfect, and we’ve definitely evolved together over the years so far…but, I know Ben and I both feel incredibly lucky to be sharing this role with Alex and Liza.
I don’t know whether we just lucked out with these two, or if we all really just are super compatible for this particular situation…or, if somehow we all make each other better at this, often times, madly complicated…and, often painful, multi-family relationship.
Because, the honest to God truth is…from our perspective, at least…is that co-parenting with Alex and Liza actually feels easy. I would even go so far as to say that there are times when parenting with them seems like it’s a whole lot easier than it would be without them. I don’t doubt for a second that even as our “shared” kids get older and our relationship with them naturally fades to something less involved as we know it now, that we will seek out their guidance and opinions as we raise Bode and Harley Love.
It’s kind of crazy, you know? Because I have plenty of friends and have heard plenty of stories of how ugly this whole situation can be for families with our similar dynamic. Everyone says that you just have to keep the kids’ best interest in mind, that you have to always do what’s right for the children…that the kids should never see or hear about anything negative going on between their split up families.
I know that’s really hard for people, though. I can understand how it can get messy and that beacon of focus on what’s right for the kids dims because times get hard…and, decisions need to be made that involve all 4 parents…and, some people need to give or take a little more than some others.
We’ve been there, for sure. And, I don’t know if our kids are just now at an age where all of that’s easier or less complicated, or if we got lucky and our kids are genuinely just “easy” kids.
But, I’d like to think that it’s because our little Gallagher-Bergeron team has grown and evolved together and we’ve all, including the kids themselves, figured out where boundaries are and who is responsible for what roles and who needs space and when because we’ve seen each other go through so many different things, both good and bad.
It’s just like it is on any athletic team I’ve been on, except for one huge difference: this is the most important team because the stakes…our kids’ happiness and well-being…are so enormously high.
And, that beacon, with this team, will never dim.