I am a parent. It was not what I planned. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but I envisioned being a tumble weed until the age of 30 not putting down roots and traveling and seeing the world. Yes, traveling and seeing the world with bright, fresh eyes. That was my vision. I am a parent. My children are classified as atypical, I am atypical because I parent alone. Not by choice, but I feel it is by God’s design. He knows those that are strong enough to love and direct young lives alone and entrusted me with my children. As my life continues to progress and I continue to be a success in many areas, I face challenges and I face them head on. I wish I could say parenthood is easy after a while, but sadly, it is not. It’s stressful and once they learn to walk and talk and talk again in my son’s case, the challenges change. Over the years, my passions have changed with their evolution.
In my 20’s, I was that mom that was content to give my kids Chef Boyardee from a can, soda by the gallon, and relax with a good book or TV show with them, but by my mid-20’s, I realized that being a kid with a kid was not going to work. My son and daughter’s diagnosis and eventually my realization that I was very impulsive and made decisions on a whim helped me understand that it was not just me the tumble weed and I had to get it together. I can be honest about my journey now at 34 with a 14 year old daughter who seems more like me everyday at her age. She’s stubborn and she attempts to be independent when she really wants to be a kid. But that is neither here nor there, I’m older now and I regret some of the mistakes of my past and have asked for forgiveness for those mistakes, but the biggest regret that I think I am learning to get over is not growing into the person that I am sooner.
I have always wanted to make a difference in the world and for a while I became complacent, I didn’t know how to make a difference, I only knew that women in the world needed a voice and didn’t know how to give it to them. I know that I am stronger than the generation before me in many different ways and in ways that I never imagined. As I embarked on my educational journey in 2011, I did not know what I would be or that I would be on the path that I am on now. The atypical parent is working on becoming an occupational therapy practitioner. I have done many different types of advocacy and the path that I have taken, the growth that I have made this past year let’s me know that this atypical parent is doing something right.
I am writing to say that no matter the challenges, financial, personal, or physical, I will continue to strive to be the person that I feel I am meant to be even if it means that I have to be that person alone. I have learned that sometimes, you have to walk alone to understand that the needs that you have as a person pale in comparison to the needs of others. My children’s needs are paramount to any need I have on any given day and I hope that other people in my children’s lives can get this message and finally decide to grow up. But I know that trying to make them do something that they are not ready for is not going to do anyone any good at the end of the day.
I’m a parent. I’m a good parent. I fight for my kids and those like them. I give when I have nothing left. I’m a parent and though this is not the path that I saw myself on years ago, it’s a path that I enjoy.