I was supposed to be at work at 9am. My first day back in a school since Alex was born. My first day as a single mom living on my own doing the juggle of parenting and working.

(This was never my plan.)

Alex stayed at Mom’s so this morning was easier. Before I left he told me he didn’t want me to go. Because he would be sad. I asked him what we could do that was fun after I got done with work. He replied, “Go to Kentucky, Go to Molly’s . . . and something else equally impossible that I have apparently blocked from my mind.”

It’s rare that he stops me in my tracks and I feel entirely not up to the honor of being his mommy. This one put me against the wall and broke a part of me.

(This was never my plan.)

I got up early so I would have plenty of time. Next thing I knew it was 9am and I was still home and I was not even dressed.

I couldn’t find my work clothes.

I ran around outside in my rattiest dirtiest clothes, wearing a pair of brown heels. Holding an alternative pair of brown shoes in my hands. Running through mud. Feeling my feet sinking. In the rain. In the storm. Looking at my watch. 915am. How the hell was I late on my first day?

I looked at my watch. 9am. I was late. I couldn’t find my work clothes.

I opened my eyes. It was still dark. It was a dream. It was sometime in the lonely night. I lay there alone.

The minutes I lay in that dark were among the loneliest I have ever made it through.

(This was never my plan.)

I was up with the alarm. I studied my sassy new hair in the mirror but was more aware of the circles and bags under my eyes. The vanity aspect bugged me, but mostly I was so sad for myself – it’s only when I’m this special kind of fragile that my eyes can no longer hide what is in my heart and my head.

I cried. I got dressed. I put on makeup. I cried. I put up a facebook status:

After a night of sleep where all I dreamed about was being late because I couldn’t find any clothes to wear . . . I start my first day of work as a single parent. I’ve already cried twice because I. am. terrified. I’ve never done anything like this alone. What if . . . What if . . .

I drove to work. On time. I sat in the parking lot and checked my facebook page. Words holding me up were right there under my words of fear. Crisscrossing the continent, people reached out and gave me what they could.

I faced the day. I faced the usual stresses of back to school. I met new people. I marked “single” on more boxes than I can count. I didn’t flinch when told we don’t get our first paycheck until September 25th. (nothin’ divided by two equals nothin’ . . . okay so that’s my bank balance and my budget till then. cool. Mortgage companies take smiles in exchange for bills right?)

I sighed when I saw I have breakfast duty two days a week. Compounding my troubles of scheduling Alex’s care on a handful of mornings. I talked to the counselor about it and she wished me luck but didn’t think anyone was going to be helpful based on what she’d seen.

And then I cried again.

(This was never my plan.)

This responsibility is mine. All the bucks stop here. There is no passing on the day to day bumps of single parenting. I am scared like I’ve never been before. NOTHING has panned out as I planned.

In the meantime – Victoria and I are singing Keep Holding On to each other at top volume – holding each other up from thousands of miles away.


Thank you all for today.