Mother’s Day Through the Lens of a Single Parent

When I became a mother, I was married but am now in the final stages of divorce. If I had a marriage like Leave it to Beaver (really dating myself), the Huxtables or Michelle and Barack, I probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.

You never know how divorce affects your kids, but you pray it doesn’t cause irreversible damage.

My sons are now teens and it’s rough. I’m raising two young African American males in a society that has not always been welcoming. On the flip side, the call of the streets grows louder and louder until it deafens a mother’s plea for caution.

I think every mother has a moment of truth when you realize that the potential for your kids to mess up royally is real. Very real. I had a meltdown during that moment, long before my sons did something really stupid so when that dreaded moment came, I was mentally prepared.

I am a much older mother when compared to others and now I know why. Teens need wisdom. Wise counsel. They need parents and particularly mothers who are courageous. Courageous enough to advocate on their behalf but also courageous enough to do whatever it takes to keep them on the path of their destiny. It might mean working two jobs or even three.  Taking away privileges. Being the “tough parent’ who will not stick their head in the sand when they mess up royally and teach them to run from adversity. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned now in the sixth decade of my life is to “face your fears” and avoid living a fear-based life.

So, on this Mother’s Day, despite the angst of adolescent turbulence, I am grateful.  I am grateful for life’s storms as well as sunshine. For tears that eventually bring cheers. I am grateful for the privilege of being called, “Mom.” I am grateful for being a mother.