Welcome to Single Motherhood
Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Oh, baby it’s cold outside! This is my fourth winter in Anchorage, and it is not getting any warmer. I keep thinking one day I will totally acclimate and join those Alaskans who wear shorts and flip-flops in the middle of winter, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Anyway, the ravens have landed - my favorite part of the season. And I swear this year, they have been calling out to me, “Nevermore.” At least I like to pretend that’s what they’re saying when they land on my back deck. It brings a little magic to the frosty wonderland and makes my daughter believe I’m telling her new, creative stories about the large, noisy black birds.
The moose are migrating, too. I watched seven of them this year right outside of my subdivision. They were there for about a month. I’ve never seen so many at once. It was fascinating. A few weeks ago, a lone wolf was scavenging in the same area. He was probably looking for remnants of Halloween pumpkins that had been dumped there...Alaskan recycling. As a result of the early snowfall, the animals seem to be even closer than ever in search of food. It’s a reminder of how wild this faraway place is.
The kids and I did make one grand escape back to Texas this summer. It was my son’s first plane ride, first time in an outdoor pool, and first experience at a beach. My daughter couldn’t wait to go because she doesn’t have to pack socks or a coat for Texas. This year, I actually got to spend some adult time hanging out with friends, as well. The last weekend we were there, my sister and her family came into town to hang out. We hadn’t all been together at our childhood home in a couple of years.
My beautiful daughter is now three years old. She started in the half-day preschool program at in August. Her teachers claim they have a hard time peeling her away from art projects. She also started tap and ballet classes this year and continued with her gymnastics lessons. Her shy, reserved personality is reminiscent of someone I know all too well. In April, I learned she is allergic to soy, pork, chicken, turkey, beef, green beans and carrots. This news changed the way we eat, but the change has enabled my daughter to sleep through the night for the first time in over three years. I thought it might help her grow, but she is still as petite as ever. Her brother will be catching up with her soon.
My son turned one in November. He is the sun. His smile radiates warmth on the coldest winter day. He is a textbook child who sleeps 12 hours a night and takes two naps, a complete opposite of big sister. Although a procrastinator when it came to crawling, he took his first official steps on his birthday. He excels in communication. There have been no delays in learning to talk and be heard. My house is never quiet, but that’s okay. My only complaint is that he is a very picky eater. He spits out everything I give him and then looks at me like I have just tortured him in the most unimaginable way. I haven’t cut the bottle off yet out of pity, but it’s coming soon and he’ll have to learn to eat.
As for me, I’m still busy being Mommy, a job that I love. I did take my first trip by myself to visit my best friend in Seattle. I had never been away from my two kids before. It was a quick weekend, but we went to see the So You Think You Can Dance live show. I learned that weekend that I’m no longer cut out for all-night girl gab sessions. Although, every now and again, I could make an exception. In May, I performed in a dance recital. I tapped. It was the first time I’ve danced in front of an audience since high school. I’ve also taken up Pilates, which has made me feel a lot better.
This year brought visits from good friends. My best friend and her daughter braved the coldest month of the year, February, to stand outside and watch teams of dogs fly past pulling a musher at the ceremonial start to the Iditarod. I ventured out with them on a real Alaskan adventure – glacier hiking with two three-year-olds and two children under the age of one.
This year, I became a single mom, and I have learned that it's healthy and good to have some "me" time because this is going to be a journey.