In the world of single parenting-speaking broadly you can categorize single parents into two groups: widows and divorce/separated. There is far more nuance than this I know but at a high level there is a dividing line. The groups can then get further sub-divided.
These Hallmark made holidays like Mother’s Day for me and my crew (the same can be said for some friends about Father’s Day) pose a unique set of challenges. Frankly it’s not an overly easy day (or week given the in-school emphasis) to get through.
This year in school, 9.5 had a little bit of an issue that I instructed the school was not an issue and they could deal with themselves and to leave my daughter alone. That being said, there still is the day to manage.
Last year (our first motherless Mother’s Day), I intentionally ignored the day. I kept the girls busy throughout the day, we did a bunch of cool stuff and I let the day pass with hardly a mention of Mother’s Day. I was pretty sure that strategy would not work again this year, and then with the call from school added in I needed to regroup.
After some thought and hearing from others who are widowed, I decided the balloon-a-gram approach. I talked to the girls on Thursday about getting some balloons and writing notes to mommy. We’d then tie the notes to the balloons and set them free.
So, this morning we did just that. The rule was you could share the note or not, it was completely up to the author. I offered up my note to both girls. Only 9.5 read it. 11.5 declined the invitation. Neither girl officially showed me their note. However, more than 15 years as a working journalist, one of the skills I mastered was reading upside down.
I tried not to be obvious and to respect the privacy of the girls. But I did want to watch for any signs of other issues I had to deal with. Happily there are none that I saw from the notes. What did strike me is that both girls made reference to heaven near the top of their notes.
This is not something they would get from me. I am fine with the thought process, I never want to invoke my thoughts on religion and spirituality upon them. Each of us told Risa that we’re doing OK and we missed her lots. 11.5 in a much longer note also wrote that she was happy that any suffering she was doing ended.
With some welled up tears away went the balloons. 9.5 even taped a piece of chocolate to hers.
And so, balloon-a-grams away-and into a non-Hallmark Sunday we go.