Sometimes being a single mom is so inconvenient.
The other night – a school night – when I should have been rocking little ones to sleep, we were just finding our seats at the varsity basketball game where my oldest daughter was cheering.
I love watching my daughter cheer…she rocks at it! But it’s just no fun having to drag everyone out in order to do it. It’s exhausting and I can’t help but think about how late the night is going to be and how early and fussy the morning is going to be.
On that particularly day we only had a bit of time after school before I had a piano lesson so I fed everyone a super early dinner. I knew after the lesson we would have to bust a move to get my daughter to the game an hour early. Unfortunately for the rest of us that meant we were going to be at the game REALLY early…it’s hard enough to entertain my two little nuts during the game much less for an extra hour.
Honestly, I’m so busy messing with them I miss most of my daughter’s cheering. But I really just want her to know that I care and I’m always gonna be there for her…no matter how inconvenient!
I can’t tell you how envious I am sometimes of the other moms. That night a bunch of moms were discussing the upcoming cheer competition trip they will all be going on as chaperones. I so want to be able to do that… it’s just so difficult to ask friends to take my kids. I don’t want to ask too often. Actually those opportunities are not the things that bother me the most…it’s the little shopping trips that my daughter goes on with friends and their moms, the lunch dates, the dress shopping, the get-togethers I just can’t make because I don’t have a built-in babysitter.
I feel like I’m missing so much. I know that I’m not. I know that we really do have a wonderful life. I know that God provides so many opportunities for me and my daughter to bond. I really am blessed that she and I have such a great relationship. I know that is unique.
This is yet another one of those situations that isn’t ideal – another situation that makes it pretty in my face that things aren’t the way they should be. But is anything truly ideal? We live in a fallen world. When sin came in, ideal went out.
I’ve been thinking lately about how God still has a great plan for my family. It isn’t a future plan, it’s a now plan. A now plan for today…for dealing with missed opportunities, late nights and difficult days. A now plan for opportunities to connect with my children. I have the precious opportunity to connect every night with my littlest daughter while I rock her and we sing songs together. I have sweet moments with my 6 year old daughter while I brush and braid her hair —between the yowling! She can get some serious knots! My 11-year old son still loves our time reading together every day. I do too. My teenage daughter and I have wonderful spontaneous talks about everything and anything. We also like to stay up late together watching taped episodes of our favorite shows.
It sounds funny to say but there is a camaraderie my children and I share that is beautiful. I think it’s having walked a difficult path together and finding that we really are doing okay. I also think there are many things about our relationship that wouldn’t necessarily have been the case were I not a single mom – not all those things are great, but most are very good – the opportunity for late night talks and time with each child just to be and talk and read and rock and sing. I know that being a single mom also means there isn’t a good buffer between me and my children when I really need a break. I know that my children don’t have a clear understanding of how a husband and wife team works – I wish they did because that is a lovely thing God designed for blessing and security for them.
I know that God loves us just as much as if we were a two-parent family. He wasn’t surprised by our situation… He has a plan for us to be blessed in this place. The blessings might appear a little different; the opportunities to bond might not come in big extravagant ways but rather the exquisite small daily ways.
Looking back at that game, I see that God really did bless me with little moments. We were able to drop my cheerleader off and run and grab Slurpees – which is always hit. I’m partial to coca-cola Slurpees. It was also fun to have one to give my daughter at half-time. My little girls enjoyed playing with the big kids – watching my children be happy is always a blessing. My son and I were able to visit a bit and that is very cool. I also had the opportunity to talk to a teacher and be encouraged about one of my children. That was worth the price of admission!
I’m thinking maybe if I went into situations – no matter how inconvenient – with an expectation of what God might do to encourage and bless me, I’d find that He really does do it an awful lot!