Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Mom-Dad

Hold on to your hats my friends- I believe Irene is right over our heads here in Fairfield County.  As I furiously prepare meatballs, sauce, pizza, minestrone soup and coffee before the electricity goes out I find myself smiling.  Im so prepared for this storm in every imaginable way.  I have been prepared since Thursday morning at 11:00 am. This is the way I live my life as a single parent juggling two children as well as tending to the needs of my Mother who has multiple dwellings.

She is well thank God and capable but she is in her seventies and has had health struggles and sadness in the past five years.  With my father no longer alive, she has struggled with missing him and her life has clearly changed.  There are aspects of life that she has not ever had to deal with. The pool is one of them as she has never stepped inside the pool house. My father tended to all the outdoor "stuff" with vigor. Now I tend to some of it as this is my role at the moment.  Im here to help my Mother as I did my Father when he was alive.

It is my desire and my great pleasure to help my family with everything.  My parents have given not only love and opportunity to all of my siblings and I, they also gave us tremendous freedom to explore the world and all that was available to us.  In fact I often think of the summer that I spent three weeks in Italy with my brother Anthony. We were in High school and we wanted to go.  My father who always encouraged us to  travel around the world was beyond thrilled.  With enthusiasm he paid for our trip and we had freedom to go as we pleased.  My parents trusted our behavior and intellect and with that came freedom. My brother traveled on to Budapest while I opted to go back to Boston as I missed Hector. Oh Hector, really- I gave up Budapest for you so the luxurious tunics that you send me at no cost.. well I think I deserve them. Im just kidding- they are in fact luxurious but I do not deserve them and by the way- your wife is extraordinarily talented.  Im grateful that you and I still have such a great friendship xo.
Back to my point here- -

Life without my father is not only a struggle emotionally, there is also the aspect of life that he tended to that needs attention. My brothers and I have stepped in to fill that void in regard to the stuff of life. Clearly we can only fill the mechanical aspect. We all miss my father more than words can say each and every moment.

Not too long after my father died, my ex-husband was offered a job that he could not refuse. It was in California and he left in February of 2005. I was now living on four acres alone on a country road without the comfort of a neighborhood or family close by other than my Mother.  I have always been a very capable and organized person so the challenge of taking on my household solo would come with ease. It wasn't easy but because Im a type A Spaz… for lack of better words- I took over everything.

One day as I was lugging the potassium chloride to the well, my son Christopher - five at the time told me that I was the "Mom-Dad".  I smiled as did he and although his words were light-hearted, the depth of that statement was very meaningful to me. As time progressed and I decided that we were not following my husband to California, my role indeed amplified.   Having an ex across the country does not make for joint parenting or joint anything.  I have now been alone with my children for six years. They were five and just over two when he moved away. They are now eight and eleven and Im that much more wiser and have completely accepted the fact that Im the one that has to tend to everything.

The physical and mental aspect all belong to me and I in fact take on the role of both mother and father. I have no choice and give one thousand percent of myself to my children. I have ensured that they have plenty of good male role models around them but at the end of the day,  I am in fact alone with two children. I have embraced my role and feel proud of the wonderfully intelligent and kind-hearted compassionate children that are evolving right before me.

As I take on the all the responsibility of child-rearing,  I also feel that the credit of their achievement is due to the time, energy, love and respect that I have generously bestowed upon both of them. So this Mom-Dad is traversing our first hurricane. It's not so bad yet and we still have electricity so Im not complaining. Things can always always be worse. Today I thank god for the gift of being the Mom-Dad. While at times challenging, it is the greatest gift that has ever been presented to me. Stay safe my friends in the Northeast. xo

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