Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This Feeling

Sometimes single parenting is tough. Sometimes it's really difficult. Sometimes you have to make really hard decisions. Sometimes you get to share in amazing moments alone and can just bask in the joy. I got one of those moments tonight. It made my heart burst with joy so much that words really cannot describe it.

I've been a single parent for about 6.5 years. It hasn't always been easy. In fact a lot of times it has stunk. I'm always amazed when a married mother's husband is away for work for a period of time and she states she now knows what it's like to be a single mom. Really? You still have someone you can talk to about what your kid is doing, how your day was. You still have your husband's paycheck you can depend on. You have NO idea what it's like. It's day in, day out on your own. No one else to vent to, no one else's money to depend on. It's tough. Being a single parent (man or woman) is one of the hardest jobs there ever will be. On the opposite hand it is probably one of the most rewarding.

Whether or not you're co-parenting (like I do) or you're truly a 100% single parent (kudos to you, you're a rockstar), when your kid does something awesome, it's a damn good feeling, pardon my language, but it really is. I was lucky enough to have a moment like that tonight.

It's no secret that I want my kids to grow up knowing that they are blessed. I want to expose them to as much as I can - but only as they're ready. Tonight I showed them the trailer to the premiere of a movie, Man Up and Go that I'm going to see this weekend. Click here to see the trailer. I explained what some of the things are in it, and I saw my daughter's eyes widen in oblivion and her face soften and the tears form in the corners of her eyes. My kids know that Africa burned something in my heart that will always be there. They know it changed me, therefore it changed us as a family.

A little later over dinner Kassidy said they need to make their Christmas list. I asked her what she wanted and she rattled off a couple things, then said, "You know, I really don't expect anything. I'll be happy with whatever I get. What if we ask Santa to give the gifts to other kids who don't have as much?" At this Kayden said, "Yeah, we could ask him to give them to Africa. Do you think when you go back you could take them some food and water? Because they die because they don't have clean water." Any of you who know me probably know I wanted to burst out in tears right then. I just smiled and said sure, I bet we could ask him to do that.

I've never said a word to the kids about that, because I want them to believe in Santa for as long as possible. I want them to have that childhood innocence because I believe kids should have that. I don't know where they got these ideas. I encourage them to always give to others who don't have as much. But I have never done an Angel Tree because how would I explain that Santa doesn't visit those houses? So I wasn't quite sure where it came from. What I do know is that I'm freaking as proud as a parent can be right now, and I know that this is due to their dad, stepmom and myself. I don't know everything that goes on at their dad's house and I don't need to know. What I do know is that they're teaching them to love, and they're teaching them God's love. I know we're not perfect and we sure don't always do things right, but somewhere along the way we've taught them something right and God's given them both a tender heart. And I'm a proud proud mama....

So if you're a parent out there who is frustrated, at your wit's end, or wondering if a break will ever come, it's out there. Because believe me, back in the day, when things were rough there were absolutely days I never thought I could make it as a parent and days I never envisioned feeling like this. And it happened. This... this feeling.

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