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A Tribute To Single Mothers: A Moment With Bill Reflection
Sorry, Guys, This One Is Not for You
I was a single parent for fifteen years, so I have a certain perspective regarding this subject. Perhaps one day in the future I’ll be self-serving and write about single-parenthood from a guy’s standpoint, but today all I want to do is stand up and applaud for those single mothers out there who do the job, day in and day out, without a hint of praise.
I have known some remarkable women over the years. No, they were not famous. They were not household names. Books were not written about them nor were movies produced about their lives. They lived in relative obscurity, and when they died they were missed by a handful and then their names were tossed upon the scrapheap along with millions of others.
But oh my goodness, they were so important!
As are all of you who are alive now, doing that thing you do in obscurity.
Ladies, this one is for you!
Those damn bills don’t pay themselves. Put on the work face and prepare to work one or two jobs, whatever it takes, gotta put in the time to make the dime, and stretch that dime as far as it will go because your babies need clothes, your babies need food, and wouldn’t it be nice if this Christmas your babies could have a present or two?
Up early, dress for success, a touch of makeup and a quick shower, get the kids ready and then out the door to the job, eight, ten hours of shuckin’ and jivin’ and then back on the freeway heading for home, or ride the bus, catch a quick nap while the bus man takes you home. No rest for the wicked or the blessed. Take care of business at home, always something to do, get those kids to bed and then maybe, just maybe, an hour to yourself to crash and burn. Allow the tears to flow, the muscles to relax, the headache to subside, then slip into a coma-like sleep and up the next morning, and the next, and the next, and do it all over again.
You signed on for eighteen years from the moment of birth, and it’s your job by God, nobody else’s, can’t call in sick and whining don’t cut it, so buck up, strap on your game face, and smile that smile that your babies count on daily.
Children equal cuts and scrapes and bruises. There is no way around that fact. Kids will get hurt. Kids will get the sniffles and the tummy-aches, and children need that tender, loving care only a mother can provide.
So you mend the wound, put a smiley-face bandage over it, kiss it that sweet kiss that can only come from you, and then you kick back and wait for the next emergency.
Hold them as they sleep and wipe away their tears, telling them that everything will be all right, that everything will work out, that mommy is here and the boogie man will never hurt them.
What’s it like to sleep in a bed alone? You can’t remember, can you, because as sure as the sun will rise in the east, you can count on the little one crawling into bed with you at three a.m. for a little TLC, and one more night is interrupted as you hold your child close and stroke her hair and then slowly fall back to sleep with a smile on your face.
The Cooks and Cleaners
It never ends, does it? The clutter feeds upon itself and breeds, one becomes five becomes ten pieces of whatever that needs to be picked up and put away, and then magically, while you slept fitfully at night, it re-appears in the morning.
And don’t even start talking about kids and food. They are the perfect eating machines, always hungry, always looking for greener pastures in the fridge and the cupboards, threatening to eat non-food items if their hunger is not satisfied.
Wash the dishes and five minutes later the sink is filled once again. Do you want to know where your child is at any given moment? Follow the crumb trail to whichever room they are currently dirtying, cluttering and/or destroying.
And just how hard is it to clean daily, cook daily, pick-up daily, and do it all with gratitude?
The Dispensers of Wisdom
There is no one else, is there? Mommy, I don’t understand boys. Mommy, I don’t understand girls. How come that boy is a bully, Mom, and how come birds have beaks?
Why is Daddy angry all the time when we visit him, Mommy? Why don’t we have new toys like the other kids in our class, and why isn’t our home big and beautiful like Jane’s?
You are the judge, the jury, the prosecutor and the defendant, one at a time or all at once. You are Thoreau and Franklin, Einstein and Buscaglia, called on to pass out words that will somehow answer, somehow mollify, and somehow provide comfort in a confusing and yes, threatening world.
You are the first and last line of defense for your children, the wise sage who knows all, sees all, and is always there when needed. You are mother!
The Vessels of Love
From that first act of supreme love when you gave that one, last push, ejecting that seven pound bundle of dynamite from your body, to the last days as you breathe your last breaths, you are the ultimate symbol of love for your children.
As your toddlers grow to teens and then adulthood, they will forever equate love with you, and you with love, and from your unselfish giving they will themselves learn the true beauty of life. They will grow to believe in the power of love. They will become dreamers and doers of great things, and they will raise their own families, as the circle of life continues as it has since the beginning of man.
You are love and love is you. Beautiful!
I Bow down Before You
You have my admiration. You have my respect.
There will be times when you doubt yourselves. There will be times when the going is so damn rough, and you don’t think you can make it one more day. When those times come I want you to silently steal into your child’s room at night while they sleep, and look down upon your gift to the world….then say a silent prayers of thanks….and know that what you do is vitally important….know that what you do is the single most important thing in the world.
You are love and love is you.
Pick up the newspaper and read the stories of death and destruction, dishonesty and demoralization. Now imagine that your child grows up to believe in love, as you do, and from your child more messages of love spread out across the land like a tsunami spreads following a massive earthquake. Your act of love started it all, and your daily acts of love serve as reminders to all that in this crazy, mixed-up world, all we need is love.
You are love and love is you.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)