I never understood what a single parent was when I was growing up. I always remembered having a dad who was always just my dad. Even when he wasn’t with us all the time, I always had a mom and a dad and it didn't matter who did what. All that mattered is that our needs were being met by someone. I never thought of my mom having to do everything on her own.
School lunches, driving us places, cooking, cleaning, disciplining – that was all her. Every day consistently. I never really understood my mother until I became a “single parent” myself, and now I realize how hard it was for her. My dad was never not there for us, it wasn’t like that at all, it’s just the little everyday mundane things as a single parent often go unrecognized. At least they did by me for many years.
Life is very rarely perfect, and I’m sure there were struggles, but I try to focus on the things that bring back good memories from my childhood. It's all I have lately, really.
The time she took us all to Florida (even though I was a bratty pre-teen I still enjoyed it), the time she bought us Addams Family cereal and I got to have the Uncle Fester flashlight toy. She baked me the best birthday cakes ever and let me invite every kid I knew, even the ones I didn’t like, just so I would get tons of presents. We always had pets. She made my Halloween costumes pretty much every year. They weren’t so great, but they did the trick. When we had a car with a hole in the floor of the backseat so you could see the road as the car was driving, she never made me feel like I was going to die. She basically said to ignore the hole and everything will be okay. I’m sure there’s a metaphor to use in there somewhere, but for now I’m just thinking back to that big giant floor hole and wondering how I never got splatted by road kill.
My mother is crazy, but like best kind of crazy. The kind of crazy you want to tell all your secrets to and laugh about old movies with. She’s the kind of mom who will go with you to Comic Con, even though she still won’t listen to me talk about The X-Files.
I love you mom. I probably won’t ever let you read this because you’ll probably take offense to me sharing the car hole story, but I still love you.