She and I have been talking a lot about gratitude lately.
Having to be a single parent, who really has to prioritize time and money is a huge change for us. I try not to feel bad about it, but it gets me from time to time when I know I just can’t. When you want to provide the world, the experiences and having to restrain.
All things considering, I think I am doing pretty ok despite it being less than a year since I moved out. She has had to watch me rebuild my life up from next to nothing. Ground zero. Blood, sweat, scars and a fuck ton of tears. Through minimization of the struggle and sacrifice like its been easy. To see almost half of your life, love and efforts brought to a close like it was a seedy back alley business transaction. To having to hear “What DID YOU DO in those 12 years?” in a job interview and have some dude look at you with the “oh that’s cute” face when you tell him you were a stay-at-home Mother. If you only knew, sir. If you only knew just how much I did, continue to do and am capable of. I am guts, heart, truth and spine.
I protect her from the burden all while showing her my vulnerabilty. Safe-guarding her from the reality and weights I lifted, far more than I should have had to. The stress I carry within, working to heal my broken heart, while simultaneously holding her up, imparting the lessons I have learned from arduous paths, building her and us into this new normal that our lives have become.
I remind her of what we need to revel in. To focus on what we do have instead of focusing on what we don’t. Focusing on needs over wants. That we have a great roof over our heads, in a city we love, the basic needs are met, we’re healthy, breathing and surrounded by an amazing tribe of support. Oh and let us not forget our two cats who know when we need it the most.
I don’t know how much longer this will last. She still comes in for hugs, climbs in bed for snuggles, reaches for my hand while we watch tv or falls asleep leaning into me. Those years of being home got me her. This amazing person I call daughter. Our bond.
This is what those 12 years got me.
And I would do it all over again.