Some people look at parenting as the greatest challenge they will ever face. I saw it in my friends parents and in some of my family members while I was growing up. So, while other girls were taking home-economics and child-care classes, I took shop. I didn’t plan on joining the ranks of motherhood.
My daughter was born 9 days before my eighteenth birthday. Sixteen months later my first son was born and fifteen months after that came my youngest son. Less than two years later, I was divorced and on a road that I had no map for. My own mother had passed away and felt so lost and alone. I was living in an area where there were no jobs and I knew I had to do something to change the direction that road was taking us in.
I had two friends that I trusted completely with my kids. Together we formed a plan and on the first of February that year I got on a Greyhound bus with everything I owned in an army duffle-bag and my three children in the care of my two best friends. I went to build us a new life.
A new town in a different state, so far from my babies, I was determined like I had never been determined before. I got a decent job and an apartment big enough to bring my kids up in. On June first of the same year, I brought my kids into the new life that I was building for us.
They were so happy to be back with me. That was when I realized that motherhood and single-parenting could be the most rewarding things I would ever do. We never had a lot of money, but we had a lot of love and a lot of fun. We spent our summers fishing and camping and our winters on the area sledding hills. I taught my sons to cook and clean and I taught my daughter how to change her own oil and repair the minor things on her car.
The last year that we were all together, before I started learning of the empty nest thing, they had a wonderful celebration for me on Mother’s Day. Decorations and presents, but best of all, a beautiful Veal Parmesan dinner from scratch. It was wonderful and I was deeply touched. It was certainly something I will remember forever.
A few weeks later, they really out-did themselves, and showed me just how much I meant to them. They did the whole thing over again for me….on Father’s Day, complete with a card that said what a good “Dad” I had been to them. I have never felt so honored or humbled in my life. I had been so afraid that I would mess them up somehow, but the Lord gave me the strength to raise three of the best people I know. I will forever be thankful to Him and honored to have been allowed to be their mother/father/friend.