Once, someone said: you just feel like they need to struggle because you did.
And really, that couldn’t be further from the truth. But I will say this – we have to allow our loved ones, our friends and our family to fall down. Do it themselves. Make mistakes. We can’t do it for them. Not always.
Jan stood at the door this morning waving goodbye to his girls who were getting onto the school bus. They’d hugged me goodbye, sure. But Dad got them up, fed them, packed their lunches and put them on the bus for school. He’s their father. I’m their friend.
So rarely am I with these girls (I work and travel a lot), Jan has had real time to dedicate to the art of single parenting. Could I have jump started this next chapter of his life like sharing in the load of raising these girls? That question was rhetorical. Unequivocally, no.
And not because I need him to struggle as I did when I single parented my three. But because when we’re thrust into a position where breakups occur, no two ways of surviving are the same. And Jan must tread water for himself. He can’t hope anyone to do it for him.
Tasking himself to be a single Dad has been making good on promises to have short days at work every night they’re here, even if that means bringing the work home. It’s meant combing hair. And reaffirming confidence over homework. Scheduling appointments. Making plans. And doing it in lieu of having a partner at home to lighten the load.
In the short time he’s had to navigate a world where he’s enduring the roles of two parents every time those children race home to bear hug tickle him into submission, he’s gracefully accepted his newest job title.
And everytime I hear one of those girls whisper: I love you, Daddy or grasp his hand, I’m reminded why he’s focused so hard on getting this single parent thing right.
He meets the challenges. And the obstacles. He greets the thunder and lighting. He is the storm.
He is the protector and teller of stories. He’s the chef and chauffeur. The tutor. The Daddy.
And he isn’t struggling. He’s devoting to two little girls he’s purely addicted to.
— c ☆