Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Being There

Doing those daily postings for the A-Z Blogging Challenge took a lot out of me. Also, there have been plenty of goings on with end-of-school-year activities, etc. I do okay with life when it doesn't throw any curve balls at me. But when I get hit with debit card fraud, baseballs hitting the windshield, on top of Prom and all the normal day-to-day functions, I seem to sink.

The debit card fraud was a big scheme that hit the Chicago area via Michael's, the craft store chain. Skimmers were put on the debit/credit card scanners, which is how they got my card and pin numbers. A number of stores in my area were targets - I had gone to two of them! Luckily, my bank did not allow the transactions to go through - in California at an ATM where they had made a phony card with my info. They tried to withdraw $500.00, then $300.00 and as a last ditch effort, $100.00 - all denied. But I was without a card for a week and had to keep running to the bank for cash.

The windshield on my son's vehicle was fixed on Friday. I am still dealing with insurance on that. I spent Mother's Day with Sam and had a nice meal out. We went to an Asian restaurant owned by a friend of his. She is a married mom of three with her oldest 13 and youngest 3. While we were there, Sam mentioned that his friend had confided in him that she is so tired, complaining of no time to herself, spinning her wheels, etc. "See, you are not the only one," he added. I just replied that it seems pretty much everyone in our society is tired these days. But his friend has a husband at home to confide in and pick up some of the slack. There IS a big difference when you are parenting on your own.

Driving home from Sam's, I listened to a radio broadcast about parenting teens today. The panel of church pastors talked about why parenting is different than in the past citing higher divorce rates, kids living in two homes, both parents working, living in such an instantaneous society. When asked what parents can do to counteract these pressures, being there, showing an interest in and attending the kids' activities was given as the top response.

I thought about that at the volleyball games I attended Monday and yesterday. It is tough getting home at 8:30 and then having to deal with laundry, homework and some kind of decent dinner. But I've made being there for my sons my #1 priority the past 10 years in an effort to raise them to the best of my abilities and to launch them into life as rounded, decent, caring, respectful young men and citizens of the world.

There is a huge sense of pride as I see what fine young men my boys have become. My oldest will be playing his original band composition next week at the final band concert along with it being Senior Night for volleyball. He is excited about starting college. On the volleyball court I see such a leader, not to mention his athletic and music abilities.

People tell me that when I look at other married couples and are envious of their union, to realize that their relationships might not be all that they seem. But I tell you, every marital problem and difficulty during the 12 years I spent with my husband (and there were plenty) do not compare in any way to the stress and strain I have felt as an only parent. I'd take all of those issues multiplied vs. the complications and hardships I've had to face raising these fatherless boys on my own. So that on top of the blog challenge and debit card fraud and windshield is just another aspect to my weariness.

But on Mother's Day, despite my exhaustion and all, I was reminded that as a mother I did what I felt was in my heart to do for my sons - I have been there. Granted the house has sometimes, well, most times, been pretty much of a mess - but I was there for two boys who needed their mom more than ever, and I should hold my head up for that with pride.


  1. Be proud of how beautifully you have raised your sons. Happy--belated--Mother's Day.

  2. I just read your story with great empathy. I know I dropped by sometime earlier because I followed you, but I don't think I really met you then. Now I feel like I have.

    You are not alone. I know so many who have been widowed, even more who have been divorced. I was married to a man who after 19 years of marriage went off with a gay lover. I was left with 4 children ages 17, 15, 12 (girls) and 10 (boy). It isn't easy to be a single parent. But your priorities are clear--your sons are number one--and your vision of this life is right on. It's but a brief moment on earth and then we move on. We take with us only the love in our hearts, which translates to the service we've given. And we take our family connections and friendships with us, too. My disabled daughter Jen's favorite saying is: You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul.

    As thelmaz above says: be proud of your wonderful sons. Sounds like you've raised them well! I also send a belated Happy Mother's Day. That can translate to: Happy Rest of the Year!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  3. Yep, all the problems are worth it, it forms a strong bond. That is what makes it all so hard to deal with, so much work to make a relationship. I couldn't imagine having children at home and having to deal with the grief. You're my hero.