Ella: Yeah, I write all emails: “To Mom and Doug.”
What was it like when your parents split up?
Cole: There was like a period of, I don’t know how many years, when we called ourselves the “Palazzo Crew.” Because when Doug moved out, he moved into this apartment complex called the Palazzo.
Ella: It definitely, for the three of us, was really bonding. And I think we do have that sense of like, we made it through the random apartments, figuring out the dynamic of it being just us.
Cole: There was definitely a lot of learning to be done for everyone involved. Ella was in elementary school. I was in middle school. There was a time when we’d go almost every night and get a sandwich for dinner at the Whole Foods deli counter next to our house. And Doug was like, “We need to eat better.” So we’d try to cook — and Kamala has turned Doug into, like, actually a good cook — but there was a period when Doug made what he thought was a great decision. He was like, “What if I order premade meals for us that we can heat up once a week?” But this was pre-Farmbox or whatever, so it was like a Craigslist-type situation. So we would just have these Tupperwares of like random spaghetti that were like stained red, that someone would bring to the house — and he’d be like, “Homemade dinner, guys!”
How do you think he’s going to adjust to Washington?
Cole: I think Doug is a bit of a chameleon, and that’s why everyone loves him. Like, he can fit in in any room.
Ella: He’s a good talker.
Cole: I think of all people, Doug was like randomly born for this.
Your dad has never not worked, right? What do you think that’s going to be like for him?
Ella: I hope he takes up, like, another hobby. I hope he starts knitting, like I do. I think it’ll be a good time for him to slow down and just, I don’t know, like appreciate life. And tap into a lot of the things that he couldn’t do because he was working so much or had these, like, time constraints. I hope that it opens up some of those creative outlets, but that’s obviously just me, the creative child.
Did you think of your family as different, or particularly evolved, growing up?
Ella: I just thought we were a family with divorced parents who get along. Like it wasn’t something crazy. It was just something that I would hope would be the norm. I thought we had it good compared to a lot of other people I’d seen with divorced parents. So I think I felt really lucky.