Feb 8, 2011

Double down - 2, the thaw

Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light - Matthew 11:29-30

The sun slushed the ice, it was a slow thaw.

Family was mute on the matter and catastrophically disengaged.  Co-workers didn't know what was going on, they can't read minds and I didn't feel like spilling it.  I only opened up to a few close friends.  

I mostly chipped at it alone.  

after the ice, spring
Small moments made a difference.

My buddy Greg called every few months to check in.  He'd tell me his family was thinking about Pigtails and me.  That meant a lot.

Recently, a couple of running cronies offered to unsnap Pigtails from my back so I could tackle errands and stretch out a little.  I declined, but chuckled picturing her working those goofballs over with her subtle charm, begging for sour apple bubblegum and asking to paint their nails purple, yapping till their ears melted.  I was glad they asked, the thought does count.

I glanced at a single mom at the indoor playground, her finger ringless and stare hollow as her sprite climbed the germ infested foamy elephant.  My solitude melted in small batches as I realized others were in a similar predicament.   I hopped online and learned there are 15 million single parents in the states.

Time gently soothed and cauterized most of the wounds.  I pondered my shortcomings that contributed to an imperfect marriage.  And I’ve forgiven my spouse.  

Divorce mapped out a clearer future and strengthened my rights as primary caregiver. 

The compression of time and money that comes with the solo parent package has chiseled good habits.   I generally have more to do in less time than in a double parent household, so I’ve dug in and become more efficient on several fronts.

Pigtails and are I happy, we have fun again.  

Her kindergarten teacher jotted this on her report card:  

“Pigtails is delightful.  The joy on her face is a reflection of what’s in her heart.”  

Maybe she will turn out okay.  

Those days of self-doubt still seep in, I sometimes question my ability to steer the ship while bailing out water.  But we are making it work.  And if I can somehow keep things afloat, bear the burden and get the job done, I hope others can too.

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