It feels like the entire world is waiting with bated breath for Adele's latest album, an album many people are calling her "divorce album." Adele is, inarguably, the queen of break-up anthems and emotional ballads about relationships, so this assumption makes sense.
In a new interview with Vogue, she acknowledges that her divorce inspired many of the lyrics, yes, but so did something else: being a mother.
She tells Vogue that she wrote a song for her nine-year-old son, Angelo, in the wake of her separation from her ex-husband (and Angelo's dad), Simon Konecki. Because when a marriage breaks up, even for the "right" reasons, at the end of the day, kids just don't understand why their parents can't be together.
Especially when there's no animosity and nothing "major" happened—which is how Adele describes her relationship with Konecki now. He even lives in a house on her property, and the three of them—Adele, Simon, and Angelo—often have movie nights and still do regular family stuff together.
She wrote a song for her son after the two of them had a breakthrough moment. She explains that though she knows she did the right thing, she has a lot of guilt about getting divorced, primarily because of how much it hurt her son.
"If I can reach the reason why I left, which was the pursuit of my own happiness, even though it made Angelo really unhappy—if I can find that happiness and he sees me in that happiness, then maybe I'll be able to forgive myself for it."
She said at one point, when Angelo was six years old, he felt disconnected from his mom:
"He said to my face, Can you see me? And I was like, Uh, yeah. And he was like, Cause I can't see you. Well, my whole life fell apart in that moment. He knew I wasn't there."
Adele, who says she's been battling the rollercoaster ride of anxiety for many years, says that's when she decided to communicate with her son as best she could about all of the changes happening in their lives. That moment also inspired her to write a song for Angelo, to help him understand things as he gets older.
"He has so many simple questions for me that I can't answer, because I don't know the answer," she says. "Like, Why can't we still live together? That's just not what people do when they get divorced. But why not? I'm like, I don't fucking know. That's not what society does. And: Why don't you love my dad anymore? And I'd be like, I do love your dad. I'm just not in love. I can't make that make sense to a nine-year-old."
Adele, who also grew up with divorced parents and a lot of trauma surrounding that divorce and an emotionally complex relationship with her own father, which she describes in the interview with Vogue. As a child of divorce myself, I can immensely relate to the intense fear of replicating any of that generational trauma with my own kids. (I relate to it so much that I cried more than once just reading Adele's interview.)
And of course it wouldn't make sense to a child who loves both of his parents, and sees them co-parenting and loving each other and sustaining a respectful relationship. Luckily, when he's older, he'll be able to understand things in a way no other child of divorce ever will—through the legendary music of his mama, meant just for him.
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