Co-parenting is really hard. Like, really really hard. You think you're going to be mature and kind but you're also sort of disappointed and hurt and maybe not always your best self every single day. Because you're human and this ending of a future family you thought you were going to have feels harder than you expected and you're not just sad for you, you're sad for everyone in your family. So anybody out there who manages to co-parent with grace gets all of the parenting bonus bucks in the world... like when Drew Barrymore was a co-parenting champion with her ex at her daughter Frankie's kindergarten graduation recently. Because while this picture might just seem like a cute photo opportunity, the reality is there's a lot of unselfish love that goes into those moments. It is no small thing.
The Santa Clarita Diet star married art consultant Will Kopelman back in 2012. The couple had two daughters together, 7-year-old Olive and 5-year-old Frankie, before divorcing in April 2016. At the time Barrymore and Kopelman released a statement to the press about their divorce, explaining emphatically that their children "are our universe, and we look forward to living the rest of our lives with them as the first priority," as per Good Housekeeping.
Here's the thing about those kind of immediate post-divorce statements; they don't always stand the test of time. But in the case of Barrymore and Kopelman, they absolutely have... as evidenced by this picture of the two proud parents kissing their 5-year-old daughter Frankie as she graduated from kindergarten last week.
This isn't the first time the child star and her ex-husband have pulled off co-parenting on a very real level. In November The Daily Mail reported that the entire family went on holiday in the Hamptons together and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. That's not to say that Barrymore always finds being a divorced mom trying to co-parent with her ex-husband easy. As Entertainment Tonight reports, she told Chelsea Handler on her talk show in 2016:
When you break up with somebody, you're like, 'Yeah, that didn't work,' [but] when you get divorced you're like, 'I'm the biggest failure. This is the biggest failure. It's so shameful and hard to actually go through that, even privately. It's a tough time. It's a hard thing to go through. It's like your being put on a cheese grater and every second, going, 'Ah! This wasn't the plan!'
But she puts in the effort to stay focused on the positive for two very important reasons: Olive and Frankie.
Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman appear to be pulling off next-level co-parenting skills that should absolutely be celebrated. Because I can tell you as a person who didn't manage it quite as well, it's a truly special gift to your kids if you can. That kind of harmony, when both parents are working towards a common goal of raising peaceful human beings, is worth all of the difficulty in the end.