Suddenly Sad for Suri
By: Rebecca Perlman Coniglio, LCSW
Author of Lily’s Little Life Lessons
I could not believe my eyes when my email popped up and reported breaking news that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are getting divorced. There is that word again; it follows me everywhere, even at the Old Navy sale, which is where I was when I got the email. As I processed the information, one of the first things I thought about was a conversation I had with my PR agent when I first started to spread the word about my children’s book series. I did not know very much about how the PR world worked, but I quickly learned that people in the media want to attach whatever you are pitching to a hot entertainment story. In a light hearted manner, my agent suggested that if a famous couple with a child were to get divorced, my books may be of interest because one of the stories is about divorce. Ironically, she went as far as to give the example of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Sadly, this is no longer about PR strategies, it is real now and affecting the life of yet another small child.
As I walked around the store, I thought about watching Tom Cruise movies in the 80s and loving Dawson’s Creek in the 90s. As I wound up in the children’s section, my mind turned to their daughter, Suri. I have always been curious about her. I think it is because she was born the same year as my daughter, Lily. They are both spunky brunettes who adore dressing up. I felt sad for her. She has lived an extraordinary life filled with travel, cupcakes, fashion, and fun. Now will her life be soaked with custody hearings, confusion, and divided loyalties? Some skeptics might not feel for Suri because her parents are rich and famous, but I am not one of them. Rich or poor, famous or not, a six year old girl is just beginning her life, and now that life will take a different path.
As children of divorce everywhere know, that path does not have to be a bad one, but it will not be the same. It seems like nothing stays the same anymore and things are constantly changing. Change can be hard and I do not really enjoy it, but we all have to get used to it and learn to live with it. If I could talk to Suri, I would tell her to continue to be the strong, happy, confident little lady she seems to
be. I would encourage her to keep dancing, dressing up, and eating her favorite sweet treats. I would advise her to just be six.
As I paid for Lily’s flip flops at Old Navy, I smiled to myself and felt lucky. I am so glad that she can just be almost six.
I wish all of you out there a Happy Fourth of July! Tell me what you think about Tom and Katie getting divorced. Do you have any advice for Suri?