I got to thinking… I have now been a single parent for two years now. Single an unable to make any money due to the extreme circumstances. Only God knows how hard I've tried to change these circumstances. For two years I have woken up every day with one mission in mind: to fix our lives and get my son healthy, into a great daycare, assure he does well, then get my butt back to work. Every day I have a constant drive to earn money again and stand on my own two feet the way I had done before. I have sought every avenue, wrote countless letters, interviewed countless caregivers, and each time ended up at a dead end.
Once anyone fully understood the extensive care my child required they would run for the hills.
Then Gabriel was accepted into a special early childhood program for a few hours each day and it looked like I'd be able to get back to work, but shortly after he started the program, he was hospitalized again at the end of October for a virus. Then three weeks later he went in for a MRI and ended up staying in the hospital for 16 days! He has now been back home with me, out of the hospital for a month and still unable to return to his program and friends.
It has been in this time I've realized how much I miss him when he is away, and how glorious it is to have this time together.
After two years of trying so hard to “fix things” I finally learned something. I learned that everything is as it should be. I realized how precious each moment is, even on days that drain me, days where I swear I’m brain dead. I realize it all boils down to my attitude about life. The situation didn't need changing. My attitude needed changing.
It’s time I make peace with our lives and appreciate the good things we have. I have my parents, they have taken us in and adapted to the circumstances, and I have my brother and his family who give me tremendous support. I have the ability to be with my darling nieces more often. I have the gift of growing as a person, the gift of having lived on both ends of the spectrum. I once was a care free, worry free, shoe shopping money making, fast car driving, selfish, closed minded clueless, empty girl. But through this difficult time I have become closer to the true definition of a mother: caring loyal, appreciative, humble, grateful, strong, passionate, frugal and loving.
I love being the mom of Gabriel. That is something all the money in the world can’t buy. That is something you can’t just learn by observing or reading about it, that is something you have to actually live and breathe.
So with this epiphany, I have felt a feeling I haven’t felt in those two years, the feeling of contentment and along with contentment comes relief and with relief comes peace.
When I reflect on the past two years I’m amazed at how far my Gabriel has come. There was a time when we didn't think he would ever hold his head up and now he scoots around on his tiny little butt as though he is on a mission of his own. He inspires me, he is the only one that matters, he doesn't care if mommy has her own house, or job, or if mommy can buy him nice things.
All he needs is his mommy and all I need is him.