2 Girls with 2 distinct styles
1 smelly boy
Dog chasing cat
Hair not straight enough
Hair not curly enough
Dog has to go out
Take another shower
Near wipe out on wet bathroom floor
You want me to wear what
Still no coffee
Silence all the way to the bus stop
And that was our morning.
I love picture day.
As my kids get older, the quality time we have as a family and even just alone is a minimum. Each day someone has something going on that takes away from the other two. After a whirlwind first month of school and getting into our crazy schedule, I am seeing little lights at the end of little tunnels that were once very dark.
I love the time each week I get to have one-on-one time with each of my kids. By far my youngest gets the best quantity of my time since she has me to herself every afternoon. But it is during this time I get to see how she is maturing and changing each day. It is during these afternoons that I love to snuggle with her and let her be her.
I love my weekly dinner dates with my son. Yes it is usually McDonald’s but I will take a burger and fries with him over anything any day of the week. He is the only male in the house. He is the middle child. He is the one I feel I need to learn how to connect with the most since I am obviously not a male myself…ha! In our short little date, I find out so much about what is going on in his mind and his world. This is where I am hoping the lines of communication begins and he knows he can tell me anything.
And as my oldest is changing and trying to find her way as an almost “tween”, I live for our late night drive to and from her one dance class. I put my pride and guilt aside and recruited help on one night where it is just her and I. It gives us a chance to just have girl talk. I am not just mom but a confidant. I hesitate to use the word “friend” here. It is such a fine line to walk with any child. But I think (or hope) that keeping that line drawn will create a special and unique bond that is even better than a friendship. I see how she is entering into the years of struggling to find herself and to find where she fits in on top of peer pressure and everything else that comes with growing up and I am scared for her. I know I wouldn’t want to be growing up in this day and age. It is during this time, I see the amazing young lady she is and this is when she truly confides in me.
I am very proud of myself that I have been able to put aside my guilt, my pride, my desire to do it all aside. Because let’s face it I can’t and no one can. I am taking full advantage of my weekly dates more and more as each week passes because I see the small changes they make for each of them and for me.
Days are hard being a single parent. You constantly think about all you do wrong. You are always struggling with the decisions you make. You want to make sure you are present for each child yet you are one person and you are human. In your mind you know your children will appreciate you and everything you have done and will do for them. You know they will look back and see all the sacrifices you made for them.
As a single parent you make choices every single day alone. You make choices that ultimately put your needs on the back burner. You put your children first. You are not available to give much more to anything or anyone. You are stretched thin.
Are you trying to be a martyr?
Are you trying to prove you can do it all?
Are you trying to be put on a pedestal?
Are you looking for pity?
Are you looking for approval?
I can only speak for myself but I am not looking for any of the above. The only thing I am striving to be is the best parent I can be for my children. I simply want them to know they are loved. I simply want them to know I have their best interests at heart. I simply want them to know I am here for them. I simply want to get through a single day without my frustrations with life getting in the way.
Although I know what I strive for each and every day with my life and being a single parent, I know not every day will be the best day. I know there may be a stretch of time when everything seems to be pure chaos and I feel like I am failing them. But single parent or not, this is parenthood. I simply just want to be what my children need me to be.
There is nothing like listening to your child talk about things that make them happy, people in their lives, etc. Our neighbors had to move last December due to an unexpected job change. My son and their son grew very close and were very lucky to be in the same class. Every morning I would take them to the bus stop and after school and weekends they would rush to get some play time in. When my son found out that the family was moving he took it very hard.
I remember the night before Christmas Eve, the moving truck pulled into their driveway. The look on Hunter’s face was so heartbreaking. He ran up to his room and just stared out the window and cried. The days leading up to the move, he couldn’t look out the front door or window. I remember the morning when they had to say good-bye. I had to turn away because these two little boys were heartbroken about not being able to see each other every day.
Well today, Hunter got a special treat~our neighbors were in town and came to visit. The boys played and it was like no time has passed. The joy on their faces was just heartwarming. But then the good-bye had to happen again. They stood there and just looked at each other. They both didn’t want to say good-bye and didn’t know how to say good-bye. They wanted to hug but didn’t want to be “uncool”…they are boys you know. So after a few moments, they did a manly handshake which then turned into a manly yet the sweetest moment~ they hugged. It was a real hug filled with I am sure so many emotions. Then like true boys began to create a special handshake.
And although Hunter loved spending time with his friend, he went to bed crying. I love how this boy I am raising is a real boy but at the same time is not afraid to show his soft side. I hope this continues as he grows into a young man and eventually into a man. I love that he feels and shows what he is feeling without reservation. Yes, he saves it for when he is in the privacy of his own home but he is not embarrassed to feel emotions.