That’s something I never thought I would be – a single mom. I feel like there is a such a stereotype behind it. She’s a “single mother”…. Poor lady. Well, I am one. So I might as well rock it. So many single moms don’t have it as lucky as I do. Tariq and Isabella have one amazing father. He loves them, cares for them, calls me to check on them – and helps anyway he can. He visits them every chance he gets – he listens to them. Our marriage didn’t work – but that doesn’t change that he is a very stellar, stand-up man. A man that any parent would be proud to call their child. And I am proud that he is their father. He loved Shaun. He loved that Shaun loved his children. Who wouldn’t? Don’t we as parents think that everyone should love our kids? Of course. And Shaun loved Tariq and Isabella like they were his own. And he treated them just that way. Once, when I was talking to Ali about it – he said, “I am their dad. So is Shaun. They are lucky, they got two. Some kids don’t have any.” And when Shaun died, he came here that day. A twelve hour car trip. Dropped his life, to help his kiddos and me. I will always appreciate that.
So today, I had the realization what the life of a single mother of three is like. I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off since 5:45 am. And it’s 9:20pm now, and I am still in my work clothes. But, I went to work, got the kids to school. Picked each child up after work, from their locations. Got Bella to the orthodontist, Tariq to Guitar. Went to Rite Aid to pick up medicine for Bella’s teeth. Picked up Tariq from guitar. Got dinner ready. Children fed. All bathed. Laundry washed – a load in the dryer. Dishes done. Vacuumed. House picked up, and trash out. All I didn’t have a chance to do was mow – and I will get that done tomorrow. And it’s a lot. And I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to do it. So, tonight, I will go to bed thankful. One, that Shaun showed me what needs to be done – and how to do it all while maintaining a cool head. Two, that I have children that are a blessing in and of themselves. Three, I have a God who is always there – to cool my head, if it starts getting heated or stressed. Four, I have an amazing support system. My friends, family, church, work – and they are all intertwined. And Five, this is for you Ali – I am thankful for you. Thank you for being a good dad. Thank you for loving Jacoby like he is yours, just like Shaun loved Tariq and Bella. ( And here is a bit of my life that I don’t normally share so much – Ali came to see the kids this weekend, and he made a buddy – Jacoby. And he played with him, held him, and loved him. And it made me smile. And made Tariq and Bella smile. And made Jacoby cackle that gorgeous baby laugh.) And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Shaun is looking at Ali – and saying, “Thanks man, I love you bro.” I know it sounds dysfunctional and crazy. But hey, it works for us.