Can you feel me going “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh…..”? Well, you can imagine it then, because I am. I’m here with my green tea, sugar, and creamer in the cup my daughter made me for Mother’s Day at school going “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……” The kids are tucked away and dreaming in Maycee’s bunk bed (sleepover night), and I’m finally ready to write this week. In my head I can hear the song playing, “You can’t always get whatcha want….You can’t always get whatcha want….You can’t always get whatcha want….But, if you try sometime….You just might find….You get what you need!” Sing it Stones, sing it!
Earlier this week, after writing about the Black Cloud syndrome, I was surmising this: isn’t it a dubious luxury of those of us with roofs over our heads, food in our tummies, heaters, air conditioners, cars, clothes, and shoes on our feet to fret about life on life’s terms? Sunshine has appeared where the Black Cloud cleared. This is life-isn’t it? Most certainly we have to go through the ups and downs, the ebb and flow, and when it’s bad, it’s not that bad, but until we get to the good, it’s difficult to remember that. So, tonight, I’m remembering, and I really NEEDED this week to happen before I could honestly write anything. Well, at least, I feel I did. I’m turning older tomorrow, I’M TURNING 38! No, not 28, and no, not 40-not yet. I don’t care much about my age, nor do I think about it on any given occasion most of the time. With my life bumping and twisting the past few years I’ve often forgotten my birthday was even coming until a card would arrive in the mail to remind me. Each year has been different; some super fun with parties, others just struggling to survive the hours not bursting into tears. It’s all relative, and this year is no different with the exception that I think my age is now finally correlating with the way I want my life to be-at the same exact point. This being the best gift I could receive, and I’m actually giving it to myself with the help and guidance of others-is the footprint I want to leave behind as birthdays pass and the world rotates with or without me.
Maycee began her new school two days ago. She is officially a Dolphin. I’ve written about this up-and-coming change in past entries. From Christian School to public. From driving 100 miles each day commuting to driving 3.3 miles down the road (and only 12 to work). From paying out the nose in tuition, daycare fees, lunch fees, and everyotherkindoffeetherecouldpossiblybe to paying, uh, ZERO for all of these items. It’s been a highly anticipated event, one that began with tears and then went to acceptance both on my part and Maycee’s. Two days ago the switch came to fruition, and let’s all cheer: give me an “M”- M! Give me an “A”-A! Give me a “Y”-Y! Give me a “C”-C! Give me a double “E”-Double E! What’s that spell? MAYCEE! Goooooooo, Maycee! She loves it! She absolutely loves it at her new digs from the time the bell rings in the morning at 8:50 to the time I pick her up at 6PM, and I have to admit I’m amazed, and I’m totally, totally, totally thrilled. Maybe the Rolling Stones should have written the line, “You can’t always get whatcha want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you DO!” Ha, ha, ha….Want, need, I’m not going to argue either way. The wait is over, fear is behind us, and Maycee and I have an extra hour of time together each morning and an extra several hundred dollars in our pocket for necessities, maybe even a little bit of fun without the guilt on top. Happy Birthday to me!
9.9 million: The number of single mothers living with children younger than 18 in 2010, up from 3.4 million in 1970.**
**Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html
As I prepare to enter 38-year-old-ness at 3AM tomorrow morning I opened this card from my mom:
I can look back on this year with the particular hardships it brought and offer one word of wisdom: patience. I may not always get what I want, but I typically have what I need. This week was another testimony to heeding the past, listening to those who’ve gone before me, and being willing to keep trying and trusting no matter what. The numbers are astounding, aren’t they? 9.9 million. More and more women take on the SWM role every year for various reasons, but it should not be a deterrant to the ideals listed in my beautiful birthday card: singing (belt it out!), hoping, dreaming (yes, do it!), smiling, laughing, finding joy in small places, and staying true to onesself, which brings nothing but happiness. This year’s birthday will not come with cake, candles, or parties, but I’m celebrating in leaps and bounds. My daughter is the gift that keeps on giving, and this week we both held steadfast and strong to the wonders of change and breezed through with vibrant colors.
The seeming hindrances of raising a child alone are only as big as we allow them to become. As more of us women live the single mom life, this doesn’t mean more of us have to give in to the notion that we can’t get what we want or don’t deserve what we need. Dwelling on our sorrows is a natural part of letting go, and part of being human, but it is also truly is a dubious luxury when put into world view perspective. Don’t let circumstance be the determining factor for progress; get creative, work hard, remember life goes up and it comes down, and stay focused on what really matters.
Well, my soapbox is closing, the hour is getting late, and the kids will wake plenty early in the morning ready for Selena Gomez to turn on, so I’ll end with this tonight:
Bring on 38, bring on more challenges, BRING IT ON (and I think I’ll give a chuckle to that, as well)!
Happy weekend, Readers.