Monday, May 12, 2008

Singled Out

I picked her delicate frame up out of the car seat with such amusement as our eyes met halfway in a moment that can only be described as heavenly. The feeling didn’t last long however, as I noticed the after-meal hard candy mint dripping down her tiny fingers while she extended her hand as to offer me the rest. Right then my immediate reaction was… “Oh no my seats!”

Selfish? Definitely. Although I assured myself as a 25 year old with minimal interaction with toddlers, my thought process was as common as any. Then again, I doubt there would have been a blink of the eye had I have been a single mother.

Her mom thanked me several times over throughout the drive home for taking her and the two kids out for a Mother’s Day dinner. Had I had half of the guts of her, I would have told her she had it all wrong, that she was the one that deserved all of the praise. The words “thank you,” coming out of her mouth in my direction landed on my guilty ears and ate my heart out. I couldn’t help but sheepishly reply, “You’re welcome,” as I glanced at my rear view mirror and saw the two beautiful children that she had raised up until that point.

On several occasions I have mentioned my list of heroes growing up. Atop the list have been soldiers, teachers, nurses, coaches’ everyday volunteers and pretty much any hard working person who doesn’t wear a tie and sit behind a comfortable desk all day. After my Mother’s Day dinner with the three best dates one could offer, I couldn’t resist adding another type of person to that list; Single Moms.

Talk about a hero and what great company for my list as she ranks with all of those people who I have grown so fond of and looked up to for all of these years. I don’t think any of them would mind either.

I’ve never really appreciated a single mother as much as I did during my dinner with her wonderful family. I watched her closely as she chose to feed her kids before herself. I saw soups, sauces, sodas and everything in-between fly all over the table and at times spill onto her clothes. Complaints? None. Don’t I feel ashamed now for some drool on my leather seats? In the end, she had the audacity to thank me with the kind of humility you would expect to hear from a Mother Theresa. I didn’t even know God made these kinds of people.

This particular single mother should have received a round of applause from that restaurant as she brilliantly orchestrated a complex evening affair of flying food, crawling babies, hyper children all the while carrying on a half way decent dinner conversation with the other adult at the table. Did I mention that we went to a cook-it-yourself- steakhouse, where she…. (Sound of trumpets) did the majority of the cooking?

Indeed, all single Mother’s deserve more than the hallmark holiday that they share with the rest of the Mother’s who have help. Single Moms deserve their own holiday and much, much more. If the expression “doing God’s work,” ever rang true, it does so without error for what they deal with on a daily basis.

In a world with so many dead beat Dads that refuse to accept responsibility; those acts ought to be thought of as criminal. My view of the world is so much deeper after having spent a loud, sometimes stressful but overall enjoyable dinner with a single mom and her family. I never thought that such an event would be so profound before it took place. I guess if I had to sum up the entire experience, I would say “A single Mom saved my world.”

Thank you to all of you Single Mother’s out there that may have stumbled across this blog. May you know that you are far stronger than you can even imagine. God bless and keep the faith!

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