Solitude is not something that causes me discomfort or loneliness.
In fact, times on my own are often my most sacred and energetically infusing.
As I write this, my two little children are at preschool. I am sitting outside in the mild warmth of the late winter sun, trying to find peace and calmness that will last beyond my temporary solitude.
It’s quiet right now, aside from the birds and the sound of a leaf blower somewhere nearby. The house is empty too, with my husband out of town and no other family nearby to fill it. For this week, I am solo parenting.
Maya will be four this Sunday and her little brother, Logan, is two and a half. They are both lively, noisy, busy small humans—exploring the world and their place in it with inspiring passion and enthusiasm. They are the joys of my life; what I am most proud of, and what keeps me pushing on each day.
I shudder to imagine a world without them. But they are also the source of my biggest struggle and personal challenge.
It sounds cliché to say, but to the single parent: I am in awe of you.
May you never forget how incredible you are, how much you have sacrificed, and the magnitude of what it is that you are doing.
You put yourself last each and every day, giving your heart and soul to your beautiful humans.
You push back tears and pain in moments when all you want to do is crumble.
You get up day after day, showing not only the depth of your love but also the resilience of your spirit.
What you do largely goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
Your sacrifices are often not considered worthy because they were a choice you made.
You are not allowed to feel your struggle, as that would show a lack of appreciation for what you have.
But what you do is truly remarkable and I see it.
I see your strength, your hurt, your love, and your efforts. I see you giving it everything you have, even when you feel as though it is never enough. I see you in those moments where all you want to do is fold, but you don’t. And I see you in those moments when you just cannot take it anymore and you crumble.
I see you comforting when you’d prefer to scream. I see you smiling when you’d prefer to cry. I see you taking a breath when your last straw has been pulled, and when you leave the room to take a moment to calm down.
I see the guilt you feel when you’ve lost your way, and the joy you feel when you’ve found it again. I see you pick yourself up; I see you try again and promise to do better.
I see everything you’ve given up on—everything you’ve put aside. I see the dreams you have and the ones you’ve lost your grip on.
I see the potential in your spirit and the fire in your heart. I see the power and the possibility that pours out of you each time you step up to be a parent.
I see the sparkle in your eyes as you marvel at your perfect creation. I see your incomparable joy and your irrational pride.
I see your commitment, your trustworthy intuition, and your unconditional love.
I see you, and I am in awe of you.
You are my hero.