Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Single Parents

Last week Alyssa had to go to be at the school at 6:45 in order to sing with the junior high choir. They were singing the national anthem at the girls high school basketball game.

Awesome, right? Yes, absolutely awesome.

Except, even though I had to have her there by 6:45, she didn’t actually sing until 7:20, which meant we left home at 6:30 and returned home around 7:35.

Thankfully, Tom was more than willing (ha!) stay at home with Olivia so I didn’t have to drag her out in the cold dark for something that lasted all of two minutes but that we waited to even start for over a half hour.

I saw so many little kids at the school that night. Their older siblings were either playing sports or singing like Alyssa.

Some of the kids were having a blast, running around, laughing, eating junk from the concession stand.

But I also saw quite a few kids who were very obviously miserable. They were tired, cranky and ready to go home. And yet…they couldn’t because their older sibling was still busy.

I wondered if the parents who had to bring littler kids were single parents. Of course, it’s possible that both parents just wanted to see the older child perform/play but my mind went directly to the idea that the kids were there with their single mom/dad and so the parent had no choice but to bring little Jadon to the game so he could watch Madison play because there was no one at home to take care of him.

And I had all kinds of respect for that parent. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to do it on their own. And yet there they were, supporting their older kid, buying the younger kid some popcorn in hopes of helping him/her make it just another half hour.

I can imagine how much easier it would be to tell the older kid, “No, you can’t play that sport/sing in the choir/play in the band/do the school play/whatever extracurricular thing they wanted to do because I don’t have anyone to take care of your younger sibling(s) and it’s just too much to bring them to every event.”

Or even just take the older sibling to the event, drop them off, go home with the littler kid(s) and then go pick the big kid up when the game/concert/meet/whatever is over.

Single parents deserve all the kudos for what they do.

I’m tired all the dang time and I have a spouse at home who helps a lot with parenting and housekeeping and just being there to share a look when both kids are whining and everyone is tired and hungry.

Doing it alone is the work of a superhero.

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