Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I feel like I have so much to say and I'm not sure where to start. Today lends itself to much reflection on fathers & single parenting.

Both of our fathers have passed (LT's & mine). Hers... before she was born. I know that he was a farmer, from the south of Ethiopia (and not that much more). I wondered about him a lot today. I wondered what he looked like and what about her is of him. I love him. I found myself missing him today. I know that sounds weird but he would be so proud of her. LT and I talked about him today. I have always explained that he lives in heart and is her guardian angel (which she doesn't understand really but gives us entry point for conversation when she's ready). I think about the juxtaposition of her life and his life. She's 27 months and doing so well. She loves to learn (numbers, ABC's, shapes, colors, process, books, feelings, expressions, etc.). It's hard to think about what her life would have been like in Ethiopia. I am glad she has two homes. Keeping her family present in our home is a goal. I want her to feel a part of them all the time.

In terms of single parenting, I feel simultaneously grateful and challenged. Challenged because of the enormity of raising a daughter. Being everything she needs while starting a business and juggling all that comes with life. And at the end of every day I ask myself what more could I do to be more present. Mindfulness (a term borrowed from Liz) seems to be more of a reflective concept rather than a active consciousness for me. Every day I work on this. I try to build in more time to explore rather than task master. To imagine rather than produce. To create happy memories. This is hard. Between work demands, exhaustion & taking care of her and the house - I struggle. It's easier on the weekends but during the work week WOW, I have a hard time. I do appreciate how partnership/marriage balances this out. I underestimated how efficient I would have to live to parent at my best being single. This encompasses both physical demands and emotional demands. Children are energetic suckers and get every ounce of "stuff" brought into their space. This was something else I underestimated and have learned the more that I am respectful of what I bring into her space, the more she's peaceful and has less needs. Ultimately, I have been forced to edit - to trim activities. To not produce like I used to in work. With that said, I'm still maxed out. A lesson I'm learning and will continue to transition into a more manageable life so that I can work in more undefined down time with LT.

"Consciousness of the divinity of children can inspire parents – and all caring adults – to lead more selfless lives." - Eknath Easwaran

On this day, I am grateful for all of LT's significant male influences - Ledamo (her father), Kris, Terry, Sandro, Brendan, Yaddi. Thank you on Father's Day.

A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child. ~Knights of Pythagoras


Julie said...

Hey Ame, I was thinking about you a lot yesterday. Both of your fathers would be extremely proud of you and LT.You are an amazing mom and friend. I have no idea how you do it. Truly inspiring. You and LT are a force to be reckoned with. Together there is nothing you can't do.

Liz said...

Underestimating how efficient you need to be as a single parent - that rings a bell for me! And I also seriously over-estimated how much time to myself I would be able to carve out.