Single Mom Slice of Life:
Once A Mom, Always A Mom

Sharing my life with strangers isn’t new. It started many moons ago when the boys and I had adopted soldiers overseas and wrote letters with care packages. After a while, I began posting those letters on Facebook. Then Aunt Rene saw one of them and asked if I would share them on her blog site. Another few years later, and a butt ton of work and perseverance, Rene has now grown articles about parenting into (dare I say) an empire… and my life… well…

Would it be too cliché to say, “oh how times have changed?”

Back in the care package days it was almost a last ditch effort to hold my sanity intact. I was a single parent to two boys. I wasn’t married, none of my friends had kids that could relate, and people who thought that the vision of me pulling my hair out while Justin ran around the apartment complex announcing, “I’m naked!  I AM NAAAKED!” were the ones that needed the laugh most. They often wrote back with words of thanks, and for the reminder of what they were fighting for.

Related: Our Story Begins: When the “Single” in Single Dad Sinks In

Fast forward a few years to Rene and her site. Streaking had been replaced by in-house graffiti and sitcom styled family court sessions to determine guilt and punishment. Empathy slowly replaced laughter. I wasn’t alone in this parenting world?  Other people had crazy kids who purposely wore tennis shoes without socks for an entire day so they could trample on their brother’s pillow for payback?

Not that long ago, I had the sinking feeling that I was going to have to have a heart to heart with my aunt and let her know that as much as I appreciated her letting me vent/brag/cry/laugh/share every other week on her bigger, better, and most fabulous website, what more could I share? My kids are older, they are growing into their own lives, and quite frankly my life has calmed down. What more can I possibly tell the world?

Nick has moved away from home. He’s in college now, a changed man. The snotty, talking-back, eye-rolling boy has become a 6’1’’ man. He is polite, kind, calm, and an honest to God giving member of society who is currently refusing to come home because “school is hard, and if I’m going to be good at this, I need to study, not come home and watch TV all weekend.”

Related: Better Not Bitter: 3 Tried and True Ways to Get Your Teen to Talk

Justin is steadily sliding into his teenage form. A victim of Benjamin Button’s disease, the boy who stopped talking to me because I bought AsperCream instead of Icy Hot for his aching bones one Christmas (as requested by him) is now stopping in front of the fan to fart. He who said his morning schedule involving triple-checking his backpack didn’t allow time for breakfast, is now 11 assignments behind in Honors Algebra and won’t get out of bed without the distinct smell of bacon in the air.

My life isn’t better now, nor is it worse. As a friend recently told me, it’s different. I’m different. One of the main differences is that now I’m a spectator instead of a participant. More people than I can count used to tell me that if I didn’t learn to be my own person, I would be lost once the boys grew up. They weren’t wrong – everything changes – but I’m not lost. I wasn’t a perfect mom, but I’m having one heck of a journey.

Related: 10 From GEM: 10 Encouraging Quotes from Dr. Seuss

Instead of my day being wrapped up in where they are, what they’re doing, who they’re doing it with… they have their stories to tell over dinner, and I have mine. They’re growing, and have their own stories to tell… and as they do, I’m here to listen… and let’s be honest… after that, I’ll repeat it all to you.

So in this, the season of change, reflection, and gratitude, I grateful for the opportunity to look back over my life, and anticipate whatever comes next.