Tonight was one of those crazy nights in the life of a single parent. You know the one...
-where you should really stay home and finish laundry but then there's soccer practice and shopping to be done.
-Oh and did I mention that you're down to next to nothing in your bank account because your employer is supposed to pay you on the 15th and 30th but decided this month to make it on the 31st?
"But Mommy! I need a costume! What am I going to be for Halloween?!"
"Mommy, I need you to buy chips for my Halloween party at school!"
"Oh and can you bring food to the party tomorrow night?"
That's ok. Mommy has her Handy Dandy Credit Card just for times like this! Only used in case of dire emergencies and delayed paychecks!
We shopped for an hour gathering costumes, accessories, food items and absolute necessities for meal preparation at our house. We made our way to the register where the cashier rang us up. I pulled out my Handy Dandy Emergency Credit Card... which was promptly denied.
She tried it again. And again at another register. My plan B was a complete failure. (Note to self: call Handy Dandy Credit Card company to see what the hell the problem is.)
"I can hold all of this for you", the cashier offered.
Wow. That's a new one. I left my name and number and promised that I would pick it all up in the morning after my paycheck has been deposited.
All the way out the door, I was being questioned by my children.
"What happened Mommy? Where's all our stuff? What about my costume?!?!"
Please lets just make it to the car first.
My poor Rose. She always wants to make it better for me. As I explained that I couldn't pay for the items tonight but will be able to tomorrow, she was immediately apologizing about it and telling me how I'm the greatest mommy in the world. Hugging me. Loving me.
I couldn't speak. On the drive home, I felt the end of the rope begin to wrap around my neck and then I realized...
I am so grateful to have a job!!!
Rose made sure that the night ran even smoother for me. Getting herself and Grace ready for bed. Hugging me more. I finally took Rose's face in my hands and said,
"Baby, you don't have to make everything all right with me. I promise everything is fine. Yes that was upsetting but I am fine and it is not your fault at all. I am very lucky to have a job and I know that I will have money tomorrow. That is such a blessing to me and to us! You don't have to worry. Everything is wonderfully fine."
She hugged me and said, "I love you Mommy."
I am so blessed. I was actually more present with my girls after this experience than I have been in some time. Its time to turn this ship around.
I could actually hear the thoughts in my head on the drive home:
See? You're a complete victim. Nothing goes right for you! First the man you love rejects you and now this! And doesn't it suck to be a single parent too! No one else to take care of things. Nobody else's paycheck to lean on. You're stuck in hell. No promising future! Look at those girls! You're gonna be raising them alone and you'll grow old and no one will ever love you....
But I was hearing another voice saying:
You know you're not a victim. I hear those thoughts but none of them are true. You have so much love in your life. What you learned from loving Soldier is preparing you for something even better! You are so fortunate to have a wonderful job where they love you and take care of you. They'd even offer you money in advance if you needed it! Your children adore you and would do anything to make you happy. Show them how lucky they are! Show them the blessings in their lives! You can do this! Be grateful!
I am grateful. That is my focus. Gratitude will pull me through. It always does.