My second born baby turned nineteen today and this is an important milestone for her because she is one more step into adulthood. This is also a milestone for me because it has shown me that I have raised some remarkable children and seeing another child of mine become an adult makes me immensely proud. I feel that I have produced children with great compassion, fantastic talent and tremendous understanding. I am biased of course but my kids mean the world to me.
Just now everyday is a milestone of some description whether it be the realisation that I am finding out something new about myself on a daily basis or that a skill I had long forgotten is still there. The skills I would like to reaquaint myself with is drawing. I used to love drawing as a kid and right up until second year of high school I had many hours of fun drawing – usually some mythological creature or eyeballs. I had a real fascination with eyeballs. All of my kids are talented artists and I would like to see if that skill can be harnessed again.
I am also remembering all the things that were stifled when I had been part of a couple, for instance certain types of music were frowned upon or any self expression. Today I revel in being able to listen to what I want whenever I want to. The ex comes down for his tiny stint of babysitting till I go do a shift at work and in those few hours his negativity is all encompassing. He comments on the house, the dog, the kids and his general disdain at the world. My ipod is my saviour in these moments because when he is talking the songs in my ears drown out what he says. The negativity is banished by the sound of a song once forbidden. I really dont know what is better – to let the kids see him and feel the pull of his negative opinions or not to let them see him at all. If he did not look after them though I would need to hand in my notice because I do not make enough money to pay for any more childcare and the hours he looks after them are not usual childminder hours.
Being a single parent is hard enough without the judgment of being a scrounger on the dole to add to the stereotype. The thought of not working at all fills me with dread and I get a lot of self worth from my ability to provide for my kids especially in the absence of a father to contribute. The ex talks a good game about maybe getting a job soon to help out with things but he never actually carries out these promises of help. At the moment his fascination is with rebuilding a car. The kids have to compete with an old scrapheeap of a car.
I used to beat myself up about my two daughters who have repeated mistakes I have made in choosing unreliable guys to have kids with, but the fact that my girls are more than capable of doing the job of two parents makes up for that loss. I worry that they will end up feeling the same sense of loneliness, exhaustion and exclusion that has plagued me over the years but I know that these things come in waves and the joy of being a parent to some truly spectacular people more than makes up for any inconvenient side effects.
Today was a great day, visiting my daughter and being surrounded by all my wonderful children. Now I have sunday to look forward to – Easter, rolling eggs down hills, chocolate and a good home cooked meal with all my bambinos and their bambinos.
I can’t wait.