Tag Archives: parenting

First Person Singular

I am a single parent, confirmed by the judge on Wednesday. Of course, the was-band is still the sperm donor, however, given his unwillingness to provide sustenance and support, I classify myself as a single parent. Initially, this realization creates a sense of panic when I realize I am solely responsible for this child of my heart. How will I manage? How will I find the strength to address all the little issues of life, like finding toothpaste or where socks go in the wash? How can I support a Pumpkin Soy Latte habit on a Perked at Home budget? The order from the court seems overwhelming until I realize I have been a single parent for ten years. The order from the court is merely a legal recognition of fact.

We arrived at this point after ten years of wrangling over responsibilities accepted and ignored. Entering the foreign courtroom is reminiscent of previous court appearances with one exception. This is my final appearance.  I let go of the need to explain, the need to convince and the need to force responsibility. He is a deadbeat and I am not. He is unwilling to provide, to love and cherish. I am not. I have succeeded, created adult relationships with my children. I move toward the future free from the narcissism, the greed, the felonious behavior. Whatever he decides to do, whether he follows the order or not, I know I am a single parent. I am blessed.

There is no longer panic when I realize I can savor the acceptance to college, the high school graduation with honors, and her move to college.  I can enjoy the thrill of her first job, apartment and success. I can cherish the young couple finding their way in marriage. I know they are ready.

I am a single parent and life is good.

First Person Singular

First Person Singular

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Parenting + 3.7

Blog posts about parenting typically discuss issues for infants, toddlers, and the pre-school years. Whether to breast feed, toilet train at 18 months or join established play groups are issues young parents discuss at length. Recent posts discussed sleep-training and whether there is merit to the family bed or use of the crib lovingly purchased by doting grandparents. There are several blogs that discuss the value of organized sports for adolescents or the rising problem of bullying in elementary schools. These are dilemmas for all parents in the early years. I, however, am long past those discussions, my children have reached their late teen years and early adult status, they sleep through the night, prepare their own meals and have mastered group activities. No longer are my issues easily resolved with a simple one step solution or a support group. We are now into the college years, the newly wed years, the stages of parenting when less is more and it’s time to let them fly.

 

Calliope Hummingbird / Stellula calliope - fem...

Calliope Hummingbird / Stellula calliope – female feeding two chicks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The wings are strong, their sense of direction is keen, and yet, my heart is high in my throat as my fledglings take flight. Decisions made have more serious consequences now. The college of choice determines future career opportunities, the new job is more than a funding source for video games and nights out on the town. The discussions revolve around mortgage payments vs. rent, in-laws and extended families, holiday sharing and long-term career goals. There are college applications to complete, essays to write and maintenance of the GPA. My birds are flying, stretching their wings yet still eager to return to the nest for additional flight training.

 

I stand at the observation deck and watch them flutter into their own flight patterns. I watch them struggle through prioritizing medical appointments, school work and friends’ party invitations. Car payment or family visit, the gym or the paper due in two days, they sort through each question now as carefully as I weighed the merits of family reunion or soccer, ballet lessons or group project. I know they are prepared to make choices, I taught them well. I find I am the one at a loss, the observer not the decision maker with the stakes so much higher today than when they were small. I am a source of advice, not the risk taker these days. I am asked for my editorial opinion, yet don’t wield the editing pencil. I am on the sideline, watching their flight, still cheering madly and hoping that all those decisions made in the early years will illuminate their path, put air under those wings and lift them to the next tree.

 

 

Parenting decisions grow in direct proportion with the child. Although I wouldn’t trade a moment of their growth, those days of bed vs crib, play dates vs team sports  don’t seem all that bad in retrospect. I do have to admit, I’m looking forward to the grandparenting days.  I can observe them with wings wide-spread, soaring into full flight from their own nests while I watch the hatchlings among the branches. The lessons of parenting 3.7 complete with honors.

 

Bird In Flight

Bird In Flight (Photo credit: Queen Roly)

 

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