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Today, I'm talking to Brook Brook story kept unfolding with surprising wonders. She's just finished training for a supercooled top secret government job where she finds bad guys. Well, it was top secret until her super proud seven year old daughter told the cashier at Target the news, which led us to talk about the winds and whys of entrusting children with privileged information.


Brooke is divorced and her ex has a terrific new girlfriend who has terrific kids, the same age as Brooke's kids. This set of circumstances led us to have a heart to heart with Brooke's touchy inner child and solve the riddle of why kids give up beloved parent the cold shoulder.


Other topics we skated to accepting the bittersweet without trying to change it, appreciating a partner with an inborn reflex for goofiness and how singing to or with your child can be more valuable than an earnest conversation. I also got to picture four generations of female ice skaters ready to show their moves.


In the wrap up, I'll share a perspective for dealing with blended families that socio biologists learned from elephant mothers. I'll explain how music imbeds experience in memory and you'll learn and untranslatable and swoon worthy word in Arabic.


First, a disclaimer. What you are about to listen to is not a professional counseling session. Each episode is a one time conversation and the advice I offer does not constitute psychological treatment or services, substitute for professional diagnosis, intervention or behavioral health care in order to protect their privacy. Our guests have been given pseudonyms and some personal details have been changed. If you have concerns about your child's well-being or your own, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional.


Good places to start your child's pediatrician, the counseling staff at your child's school, and the American Psychological Association. A comprehensive guide to finding resources in your state. And now onto the fun, honey.


One day. In the meantime. We got this, we got. We got. Hey, Brooke. Hi, nice to meet you. Thank you. Nice to meet you, too. In this unusual time we're all in, it's been a year and I know it's really been a year for you.


So I want to tell you what I know and then hear from you what you would like to talk about today. OK, you have two children, a seven year old daughter, and we're going to call her the seven year old rather than her name. That's OK with you. And you have a four year old son with an adorable name, but we're going to call him the four year old.


OK, and you have been divorced for two and a half years and you went away for nine months to train to be a federal law enforcement officer.


Was it because of covid that you needed to stay for nine months straight, or did you know that in advance?


No, I had no idea in advance. Normally the program is like five months. It was like 18 weeks at the time. Sometimes it changes. But mine was 18 weeks and then after the first two weeks, were allowed to go home on the weekends or we can have family come see us. So that was always my plan. You know, I'd worked it out with my husband that, you know, he'd bring the kids down to see me and I'd go to see them.


So that was the plan you expected. How far apart were you? City wise, travel wise? It was like an eight hour drive. OK, so a big drive.


Your relationship with him before I'm going to call it you were deployed before you went to training was basically harmonious, gracious, good etiquette, polite. OK, OK, so it was good.


So this whole plan I imagine was something you look forward to.


Very much excited, a little bit nervous, something totally new for you, a different line of work.


I had been with this agency for thirteen years, so I kind of knew the ins and outs a little bit, but it was a completely different job role.


Absolutely. Was it a step up, a step sideways or a step into something more adventurous, more challenging? It was a step up and you thought 18 weeks and then what happened?


And then there was covered. So I did get to come home once in February and it was hard, even though I had only been gone for, I think like four weeks that time we had tickets to see Disney on Ice. And so we thought it would be like really fun. And it just wasn't even just being gone for four weeks. The kids were like missing their dad and they didn't really have that great of a time at the Disney on Ice.


They were kind of quiet and it was just shocking to me because those just aren't my kids. And it got to the point we were like in the intermission. And my daughter's like, I just want to go home and I want to see Dad. And I'm like, oh, OK, him.


So what did you do? Yeah.


So I was like, I've been gone for you. Remember me? Remember my mommy. Yeah.


And it's like I FaceTime them. So it wasn't a good trip home at all. And then probably six weeks later is when they sent us home and they closed down the facility. And there's this global pandemic. So I drove home but needed to quarantine for two weeks now and then after that slowly would integrate with them so I could see them the time that I was home, which was about seven weeks. But again, it wasn't like it was before where we had like our shared custody.


They really didn't want to stay the night with me and spend time with me, you know, and everybody's kind of bunkered down. So it was like really lonely because I didn't know what was going to happen with this job. And also my kids didn't want to be around me. And then to throw another wrench into the story, my ex-husband was dating someone new. And during covid, she's got two children close to my kids age. And they moved in with him so they could all kind of be in a pod together.


And I think that was like the biggest dynamic of them not wanting to come because they had, like, two friends that they could play with. And I didn't have anything but me. I hope you're enjoying episode two of Nature versus Nurture with Dr. Wendy Mogel, this is an incredible episode. Monica and Rob and I were heartbroken for this guest. The thought of having to go away for work and only to return to a different relationship than you've put in with your children is so hard to imagine.


If you'd like to hear the rest of this incredible episode where Wendy provides a solution and encouragement and brevity, I encourage you to go over to the nurture versus nurture, feed and subscribe. That's where all the new episodes, Dr. Moghuls podcasts will live. Nature versus nurture will not exist on the armchair feed. It'll be on its own feed. So please search, nurture versus nurture, an Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.