Single parenthood is not for the timid. I did not dream of being a woman who would be raising a child on her own. Like many young girls, there would be a handsome, romantic, successful gentleman to sweep me away into a life where we would create a home that mirrored something off "Leave it to Beaver" or "Family Ties". **enter reality check**
So my knights wore aluminum foil (flimsy) and rode on a donkey (or were just a plain ass). I realized that the family unit was not a mutually exclusive vision for my little family. We went our separate ways (keeping our son in the balance... well, some of us tried).
Fast forward 15 years... still no knights in my future. However, I have learned that I am a strong, independent, relatively intelligent female that can fend not only for herself & her little lion cub, but her whole family unit. Granted, these past years have been riddled with trips to the hospital, shouting matched, slammed doors, hurt feelings and tears (yup, plenty of those).
Now that my son is 18, I see life changing, quite rapidly so, in a great way. When he was 15, he was eager to get his first "real job", as a bagger at a grocery store. He was promoted to the grocery department, but realized that wasn't his style & went back to bagging. Opportunity knocked when the coffee shop opened in the store & he jumped on that! He had been there almost 3 years. Great work ethic for a kid that age.
Academically, he is finally challenging himself as he did as when he was in elementary school. He has great attendance & is quite involved in school activities. He's had a few "gotcha's" not turning in homework, but the majority of his work is on track.
College days are drawing closer & closer. He has a handful to choose from & we are working together to make the best decision for him. I am rather amazed of the dialogue that comes with this. He is a great critical thinker.
This weekend he was awarded a scholarship for his pursuit of a theater education degree & the realization that I have raised this fellow essentially solo & he has turned out to be a remarkable individual. He may not be the athlete that his father wanted him to become, but making himself available as a parent was not a priority.
It is overwhelming at all we have accomplished. I remember clear as day when he was a toddler holding his hand knowing those days would be a sweet memory & hoping that I would be a "good enough" person to be a single parent as it was becoming evident this was the inevitable road we would be traveling. By no means am I super mom, I made mistakes, said things aloud when I clearly needed to hold my tongue, but I did my best to do right by him in my heart.
I am proud of my son, for being the genuine person he has become. I cherish our mother/son relationship and the honesty of our conversations. The days with him living in the nest are dwindling too quickly, yet I am eager to see him take flight.
It's not the childhood dream that I had, it is better!