There are a lot of articles and blogs that talk about how difficult it is to be a single parent, and every one of them is true in some form. I know I’ve talked about some of the daily and perpetual struggles myself. It’s certainly not easy, but nothing worth it ever is.
This is not one of those articles. In the midst of difficulties, it’s important that we recognize the good things. Cliché? Perhaps, but true. And I have so much for which to be thankful.
Last weekend, I got to watch my son score his team’s first soccer goal for the season. Even before the round of high fives from his teammates, he looked right at me and gave me a double thumbs up and the biggest smile ever. He was, of course, proud of himself, but he was also thrilled that I was there to see it. I’ve never missed a game he’s played.
I’ve cried watching my daughter perform songs she’s written herself and beamed proudly as professionals praise how amazingly talented she is and at such a young age. I’ve also had the privilege of attending every performance of hers, singing, playing guitar, and acting in a variety of shows.
Twice now I’ve seen my boy break a board to pass a belt test in Tae Kwon Do. There is lots more to the test than kicking a piece of wood in half, but that seems to be the most intimidating and exciting part of getting that next belt. Each time, he asked that I catch the board break on video. Each time, he has watched that 20-second clip over and over dozens of times. There isn’t much better than watching your child’s face light up because he’s proud of his own accomplishment. And he insists I watch it over and over with him because he wants to continue to show off to ME!
The Performing Arts elective and Glee Club at school were apparently not enough for my girl to practice her skills, so she started her own acapella group. A natural leader, she first gathered interest from her classmates, found a faculty advisor, and presented her case to the head of the school. She crafted an email to the parents and a new group was born. I snuck into the end of their first practice and secretly smiled, watching her arrange, compose and choreograph their music. I can’t wait to see this finished performance too!
My kids impress me every day with their accomplishments. I’m so glad I get to be there to witness and support them. I know it means the world to them to have me there watching, but there is something special about other family and friends being present too. My mom comes to every game and performance as well, and I’m dating a guy who also shows up to every event he can. The kids get so excited to have their little fan club there, cheering them on. And, of course, it makes me happy to see them so happy … so I’m extra grateful for that support.
Being a single parent isn’t all hardship and headaches … I’m definitely lucky to be present in every important moment of my kids lives and happy to see they have “fans” besides me too!
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She is an active member and former organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly.