How do I do it? How do I go through so much and still keep my composure around my son? I amaze myself honestly. Through the inconsistent visitations, constant disappointments and the dramatic arguments with my son’s father has left me feeling hopeless too many times. Last weekend, I found myself in another huge argument with his father yet again. How long should I continue to allow this man to run my life? I have been dealing with him for over 10 years and evidently the fight is still not over.
I could sense by the silence and stillness of my son, I know that he senses the tension. I don’t want him to know that his parents are interacting in a negative manner. So I sweet talk to him, asking him if he is okay and why he is so quiet. “I’m just playing a game”, he replies. Then he perks up and starts telling me about the new things he discovered on Minecraft. Either he really wasn’t tuned into what was happening or he hides it well.
So, many times I had to face this issue confined in the car with my son. Like the one time where his father told me to meet at 1:00 and he didn’t show up. My son was bouncing in the back seat excitedly waiting for his father, but instead left us on the curb. After he admitted not showing up in spite of our recent argument, I told my son to buckle back up. “Let’s just go”, my son replied. So instead of pouring out my sorrows for him, I turned up the music and drove away bopping to the music. I sang loud and I danced the best I could while driving, just trying to keep the energy positive. I put on my son’s favorite songs to uplift his spirits. I tried to make him laugh and be silly. Some of the silliness was for me as well, to not cry and not scream. I wanted to breakdown, but my son doesn’t need two parents to fail him. I needed to be strong for him and was determined to be. But how? How do I do this?
I hold the gift of wiping the bad away with a single joke, dance, song, and just plain silliness. I have learned many ways to keep the atmosphere positive. Tickle time is my favorite. His laughter and smile is infectious, and tickling is the quickest way to get that. Dancing is a fun way to keep the moment upbeat. Luckily, I have learned to be quick-witted with stupid jokes that I know my son will laugh at as well. All of these things are ways to keep us afloat until I find time to let it go and cry. While my son is in the living room, I scream into a pillow. While my son snoozes, I cry myself to sleep. After I drop my son off to school, I weep in my car parked at a peaceful spot. It’s not easy holding in so many negative emotions, but I have no choice. I don’t have many opportunities to let out my emotions, either I have my son or I’m working. So, I have trained myself to hold it all in, because I have someone very important looking up to me and watching my every move and emotion.
Sometimes it’s really hard, sometimes I just want to let go and give up. I want someone else to take the wheel, while I fall apart. That’s why God intended for children to have two parents, so one can uplift the other. As a single parent, I have no choice in the matter. I have to be strong always. I have to be happy, so my son can be happy. I have to play every role for my son. I have to console him every time his father fails him. I have to be everything and that’s okay. Whenever life is too hard and it’s tough to get through, I’ll be okay, because I’m good at hiding it well.