I had him and he had me, and that's all we needed to complete our family. And nothing the world had to say mattered.
Divorce papers, an empty house, and a broken heart were all that my husband left me with after cheating on me. I still remember that day so vividly, sitting on the porch with my baby boy in my arms, as I watched him drive away in his car and disappear from our lives forever. With no energy to get up and no idea of what to do next, I just sat there for long with my arms wrapped tightly around my boy as he lay asleep against my chest, not having the slightest clue of how his life had just changed.
Unable to move, I just sat on the porch for hours, feeling miserable and hopeless. But I knew that I couldn't let myself grow weak if I wanted to give my boy the life that he deserved, with or without a partner in my life. And that's when I vowed to myself that when I get up from this porch, I'm going to stop feeling sorry for myself. I promised my little boy that I'm going to be the mother he needs me to be, and that he will never feel like he missed out on anything in life. I promised myself that when I walk back into the house with him in my arms, we're going to start a new life together, a life filled with love and happiness, with each other to lean on.
Of course, nobody thought I could do it. Even friends and family told me that I could never do it alone. Many of them were even waiting for me to fail. But I kept moving forward. I didn't let anything stop me or my son from being happy. And all these years later, I can proudly say that I did it. Not only did I raise my son with everything I had, but I can also say that I raised a gentleman, a hero, and a loving man who would treat any woman like he treats his own mother.
When I look back at all the years that have passed, I remember all the hurdles that my son and I have been through. It was never easy. There were days when I was late to pick up my boy from school because managing two jobs was too stressful. There were many nights where I had to sit by his bed and pray that his fever would go down. And yes, there were days where my son would ask me why all his friends had fathers but he didn't. I didn't want to hide anything from him, I didn't want to lie to the most important person in my life.
As he got a bit older, I remember taking him to parks and wondering what he was thinking as he watched other fathers play catch with their sons. He stopped asking me what his father was like; maybe he could see the flood of pain that rushed through me whenever he asked and decided it was best to lay the past to rest. I know my boy was forced to be mature and understanding faster than other boys his age. But he never complained. I was young and in my 20s when I had him. When I look back, I feel like I was growing up myself as I was watching my son grow. Maybe I couldn't give him the fanciest toys or teach him the right way to hold a baseball bat. But I showered him with love and gave him a lifetime of memories to cherish.
There's nothing I regret and I wouldn't change anything that happened in our life, both the good and the bad. I had him and he had me, and that was all that both of us needed to call 'family'.
Every tantrum of his was followed by the warmest hug. Every time I felt alone with no companion, my little boy would run into bed and fall asleep in my arms. Every time I questioned whether I could do this alone, he showed me that in his eyes I'm the only person that mattered to him.
Being a single mother has taught me that there's nothing I can't overcome. It's taught me that there's no shame in asking for help when I need it. And it's taught me that people will always have an opinion, but I don't have to pay attention to it. Being a single mother has made me stronger. And I can watch with pride as my compassionate son overcomes any challenge the way his mamma did.