I won’t lie. Parenting is hard. Single parenting? Harder.
The days are long. The demands are endless. The chatter incessant.
The thanks? Sometimes few and far between.
The mess? Everywhere. And always.
Tears. Tempers. Raised voices. Slammed doors.
And sometimes that’s not just the kids.
The Neighbors can tell you that they’ve heard me yelling. And likely not just in the summer when the windows are open.
But every day. Every single day. There are these glimmers of magic. These glittery sparkling little rays. That make you burst. That make it absolutely worth every headache-inducing debate over bath time, hair washing, picking up toys, chores, homework, less tv, more vegetables, playdates, teeth brushing, and everything in between.
The little hands thrown tightly around my legs with an outburst of “I love you, Mommy.”
The “Oh really? Thank you!” when they learn you’ve made a favorite meal or extended bedtime for a few minutes or planned an unexpected fun activity for no reason.
Madeline’s nurturing nature that comes over her when she sees her Mom doesn’t feel well, pushing the hair out of my eyes, and forcing me to drink lukewarm sink water through a bendy straw.
That look back as they leave to visit with their dad, to make sure I’m ok.
That fierce protective nature that Nick has over me. I’ll admit, sometimes it feels a lot like a chokehold, but it comes from such a good heart, I know how lucky I am that it exists.
The moments when I discover this buried in the bottom of my fourth grader’s backpack. The affirmation that what I’m doing, day in, day out, no matter how hard it is, it is always, always, appreciated. And sometimes, scribbled on Thanksgiving paper for a truly grateful mom to find at the end of the day.