I want you to know why I need a more accurate title than "single mom."
It has taken me a while to have something worthwhile to say about the fact that your dad and I are no longer together. It was tempting to react in my blog the way I tend to do in life, and just sort of gloss on by the emotional magnitude of such a thing.
I also didn’t want to just say the same crap everyone else says, even though it is true:
Both your dad and I love you.
It is okay to love us both, you don’t have to choose a side.
It had nothing to do with you.
I guess I’m just going to talk about the first few months of this new way of being.
Some things were the same. My mom said that parenting is aimed at planting the seeds of a man. I take that seriously. And planting those seeds takes a lot of crazy plotting/reading/phone calls.
What preschool should you go to? Swimming lessons? A 529? How much and what kind of early education should you get? BOB books or Let’s Read? Parenting theories? Passport. What kind of adventure should we go on this weekend? Playdates! Birthday parties! I’m taking you to California! Don’t spit and open the door for a lady.
But all of that steering gets harder when I have to empty the dishwasher twice a day and pick you up and drop you off at school and wash all your clothes and perform all the tasks your dad used to do.
As I’m sure you (maybe) know by now, I’m a little bit of a workaholic. I was ALWAYS available for my job. Even after I had you. Your dad was always here with you so I didn’t have to worry about you and the dogs. Y'all want me to fly to Egypt/New York/Neptune in three hours? Fine. Let me grab my laptop/space helmet and I only fly American darling, thanks.
I almost lost my mind last summer when I thought I would have to nix a business trip because there was no one to watch you. I gave the client a one-week no fly zone and when do you think the meeting popped up? Right when I said I couldn’t leave Austin. LAWD, WHAT IS I’M GON’ DO?
I thought that I was going to struggle harder getting up to take you to school. Your dad used to get up and get you out the door so I could sleep in. Sometimes it is a crazy last minute flurry and I feel guilty for rushing you then getting mad when you get distracted by a rock. Then I get embarrased by being black and late and imagine your teachers wondering what the hell is wrong with the coloreds?
Most days I love singing you awake or turning on music so loud that you are snake charmed into your day.
Mostly what I want you to know that I am single, but not exactly a single mom. I am not at all by myself when it comes to raising you. Your father has not disappeared out of your life at all.
Your dad picks you up every week and wants to video chat at least once a day. You know how to call your dad on my phone.
Right after Christmas, I invited your dad to come over to open presents with you. He played for three hours, read you stories, shot me with plastic toy projectiles, and put you to bed. Also? He was mauled by Lola.
And playing with you for three hours is part of your dad’s magic. He is far more willing to make light saber noises than I. And making light saber noises for three hours,
, is an important part of a boy’s life. He never gets tired of Transforming Transformers, creating railroad track towns and eating plastic sandwiches.
Sometimes I worry that I’ll be the no-fun parent. But then again, I worried about that when we were together in the same house. Some things never change. You and your dad are laughing at the fart and I am somewhere making this face:
Your dad and I both attend your school programs. We both cheer for you while you pee in the pool during swimming lessons. I took you to see your dad’s brother and his family in California. Your dad’s parents know that they are welcome in my home. Always.
So far, you seem to be mostly happy.
Every now and again, you will blow our minds with “Daddy? Can you come and live with us now and then go back over there when you’re older?”
And it makes us sad. But we talk about it. And tell you how much we love you.
So even though we aren’t girlfriend & boyfriend anymore? We’ll always be mommy and daddy.
I might be single? But I’m not a single mom.