My ex-husband, God bless him, was a douche bag. He put his career first, his mistress second, fantasy football third and coming in a distant fourth was his family.
That said, I must confess that there are days that I come home and miss the selfish bastard. Three and a half years after our "Black October" my brain knows that it is not him I miss anymore. Though my heart misses having someone to come home and share the victories of the day with I’ve become accustom to the adult solitude. Today for some reason it hit me in a way I haven't felt in a long time though and particularly made me feel a bit alone in the race.
I wrapped up another sales period at “mega corp” and it was a pretty stellar close if I don’t say so myself. It didn’t come easy though which made the victory all the sweeter.
Over the past six months I spent evenings sitting on the bathroom floor with my laptop perched on top of a closed toilet that served as my desk while my daughter played in the bath. I spent late nights working while my daughter was snuggled up and dreaming in bed beside me. I spent my days stressed, anxious, focused and exhausted. I did it to just get the job done. I was just surviving the work at hand through burnout and fatigue.
Today was the end of the work marathon and I nailed it. I’m not often proud of myself but today I was. Today is the first time in a long time not having someone to understand and share that win with was a bit disheartening.
I admit, I still have some days where it is a struggle between anger and sadness with the destruction of my marriage. 95% of my days are fine now. My ex-husband lives happily with the co-worker he got pregnant and left me for when our daughter was only six months old. They have added another baby since and now she gets to be the stay at home mom of two. She has the life I had, the second child I wanted and all the while now I struggle to make the best of it on my own. This is not something I dwell on anymore but today when I realized I was alone in my awesome day with nobody at home to share it with and then reflected on how hard I worked to get it the shitty pity party of one crept in.
I came to the realization tonight that as much as I love my daughter and as much as she loves me she’ll never get the accomplishment I had at work today. She’s four, she’ll never get the big gain I made for our little family or that mommy’s hard work and time spent working on her laptop from the bathroom floor had paid off.
She shouldn’t have to, she’s four.
Kids don’t throw us ticker tape parades or pat us on the back when we do good for our family. It’s our job, it’s what we’re supposed to do every day. There’s no high five or ass slap. That too is our own job as single parents.
I realized tonight I need to learn to do more self appreciating and to be comfortable with that. I mean after all, four year olds don’t get it, right? That’s not their job. That’s way too adult for them to get.
My daughter was watching a re-run of Extreme Home Makeover. For some reason it’s one of her favorite shows and I love that about her. It shows me she’s compassionate and loves watching people help others in need.
She asked me why the family being featured needed help. I explained that they were a family of heroes who were just having a hard time and really needed the support of others right now. She was silent for a moment as we sat there together watching.
Then it happened.
My four year old daughter turned to me and said… “Mommy, you’re MY hero”
My daughter doesn’t know it yet, after all she’s only four. She is the hero. She’s my hero. My daughter is how this single mom survives.