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June 22, 2009

Jon minus Kate

Well, I started a blog tonight while waiting for my flight to Austin.

The original blog was about the tv programming choices that I had to choose from at 11:30 last night. I didn't finish that post, the flight arrived, maybe I'll get to it later.

As I spend the night at my dad's house in Austin, I am saddened by the news that Jon and Kate have decided to divorce. Not entirely surprised, but saddened.

I am a child of divorce, I know the pain divorce causes, on a very personal level.

I can still remember being 10 years old and my mom breaking the news to my brother and I at a restaurant not too far from where I am tonight actually.

Breaking the news to two kids was devastating, I am sure, although it's not something we've really ever discussed since then, how that conversation happened.

I really cannot comprehend breaking that news to eight children.

At the age of 10, I knew the news was coming. I believe the two older children on this tv show are about the age I was when my parents divorced.

At that age, you are old enough to know something has drastically gone wrong, but not old enough to comprehend what has happened or why.

Sort of like watching a car wreck happening in slow motion and being helpless to stop it.

I remember the knowing, the understanding, that what we had known as normal, would no longer be normal.

Even though my parents had not told me, I knew.

I remember the dread of waiting for the actual verbal announcement to arrive, and a little bit of relief at my mom confirming what my brain told me but my heart desperately wanted to change, to stop, to prove me wrong.

You cannot stop a wreck once it's in motion.

I've heard a lot of blame directed at Jon and Kate and who is at fault here.

The tabloids and gossip magazines have placed this couple on the front of their magazines and rotated the blame each week.

As much as Kate and Jon are grown ups and in full control of their own lives, TLC needs to step up to the plate here and own up to their part in this.

The Learning Channel? REALLY? What exactly are we learning from this situation? How to get divorced in 3 easy seasons?

TLC has dangled money, trips, gifts and more money in front of a family that was in dire need of help.

And I refuse to believe that the people behind the scenes on this show did not see this wreck unfolding.

They should be ashamed.

No, you cannot stop a wreck.

But you can certainly call for help.

Instead, TLC has done just the opposite. They have basked in the ratings of this catastrophe and as much as they've tried to seem concerned, the fact that they are allowing this show to go on, especially given the news today and how it will affect these children for the rest of their lives, is appalling.

If this was really The Learning Channel, the news today might have been, "Jon and Kate have decided to try and work on their marriage and out of concern for these 8 children, we are cancelling this series in an effort to give the kids some privacy."

Nope, not a chance are they going to pass this up.

I wonder, in 30 years, if these children will remember where they were when their mom or dad told them that their parents were truly divorcing?

I wonder if they've known already and have been waiting for someone to confirm it.

I wonder if they thought they could stop the wreck, instead of standing by, helpless to stop it.

And, I wonder what it must feel like to be 9 or 10 years old and helplessly watch a wreck happen in front of your very eyes, only the whole world watches the wreck happen with you and no one stops to call for help.

Someone needs to pull the plug here. The next story about this family should be no story at all, ever again.


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