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Single Mom Slice Of Life: Dinner With A Side Of… Conversation?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons *USB*

Single Mom Slice Of Life:
Dinner With A Side Of… Conversation?

The sounds of screams, maniacal laughter, and pleas of mercy echoed off of the shaking walls;  the dogs barked and I blissfully ignored it all as I listened to Ray Parker, Jr. convinced to call Ghostbusters. Okay, I wasn’t blissful, and I didn’t ignore it; in fact I laughed and  truth be told, did egg some of it on.

Yeah, it had started off as a regular, normal, seemingly routine Monday night, life was normal except for one thing; nothing was normal.  The TV was on, but set to one of those commercial free music channels, a change in our ordinary routine that changed us for the better.

Doing my best Super Mom impression, I not only fried chicken, but I swept the kitchen, vacuumed the house, steam cleaned the dining room carpets, took out the trash and started a load of laundry.  By the time dinner and chores were done, the boys were done with homework and we sat down to eat.  It was during that dinner that I learned the following things:

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Source: Henry Horner Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Apparently, the poor thing apparently died within a year of Lincoln himself, interesting seeing as our own dogs actively tried to kill me.  Every time I turned around one of them was laying in my way; always a pretty site when boiling water and frying chicken are involved.  Nick also has no taste in music. During one of the times he unplugged himself from his iPod, he complained that the music I was listening to was horrible.  The 80’s were gone, he assured me, and no one listens to stuff like that anymore.  One minute later, he plugged back into his iPod, and began singing “Take On Me” by A-Ha. Uh-huh..


Photo Credit: Creative Commons tawest64

I learned that tidbit as we sat down to eat.  Now, granted, as is the traditional dinner fashion here in 2012, we often eat in the living room, around the TV. Tonight though, I was completely enjoying the vibe of the house so I convinced the boys to leave it. Without something to actually pull our attention away from each other, we talked… about school, new friends, old teachers… and yes, the historical significance of candy cane shapes. (Editor’s note:  There are many variations on why the candy cane has a “J” shape.)


Photo Credit: Creative Commons Horia Varlan

After we were done with school talk, and dishes had been put away (er, stacked on the counter) and without a start and end time to a TV show, there was no limit on our conversation. One topic lead to another, and another, and as the topics changed, the hours passed. While the music played, the stories, random trivia facts, and laughter continued. The boys chased each other doing some sort of weird combination of dance and faux karate moves. Justin played Beethoven with flair on this keyboard, followed by Nick and his rendition of the Jaws theme.  I sat, watched.. and smiled at the camaraderie that seems rare these days in my teenager-filled home.


Photo Credit: Creative Commons Eli Christman

Two hours from now I’ll forget there’s a sink full of dishes waiting to be washed.  Two days from now I’ll forget that Justin truly believes the lyrics are “Juice box hero with straws in his eyes”.  Two weeks from now I’ll forget that I really dislike frying chicken during the summer months.  What I will never forget though is that for the first time in a long time, without threat of dismemberment, bribes, or public witnesses, my boys got along.  They laughed WITH each other. They played TOGETHER.  They acted like brothers who actually LIKE each other.  It’s sad that it is such a rare occurrence, but gives me hope for the future.

What about you, how do you feel when you see your kids getting along? Do you feel like you’re seeing a glimpse of their adult relationship with each other?

More From GEM:

Our Story Begins: Why I’m Teaching My Kid To Face Reality, Not Chase Reality (TV)

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Wendy Syler Woodward has been a single parent for 10 years, with two boys ages 12 and 16. Originally from southern California, Wendy moved her family seven years ago to Phoenix where she manages a law firm for work, writes for fun, and this year returned to college for her B.A. Follow her on Twitter @WendySyler.

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