Skye’s father was not in the picture. I don’t say this in any negative way. They have a relationship now that she is an adult, and that is the important thing. I fully support them and am grateful that he is in her life now.
Zowie’s father was there until he passed away when she was eight months old. A devastating death that had far reaching implications. But he was there in the beginning, and that is what truly matters. He loved his daughter so much, and for that I am grateful.
Both girls grew up with only me. But not really. You see, I had help. Not the live in kind of help where two parents are present for everything and making all the decisions together. Not the kind of help where two parents decide together on disciplinary actions. And not the kind of help where two parents planned wonderful vacations for their family.
Nope. I had a completely different kind of help. The kind of help that comes from strong women, who helped me to raise strong daughters.
Who was helping me? For starters, my mother.
Now, just so as you don’t think everything was all perfect, remember that I am a rebellious person. This meant that I was a rebellious teenager. My mom and I fought a lot. I always seemed to be in trouble for something. Note: I later, when my daughters were teenagers, apologized to my mother for my teen years. She laughed at me.
As a young adult I was not always grateful for my moms advice on parenting. I had my own ideas. Now I can say that sometimes she was right even when I didn’t want her to be. But I was also sometimes right.
We just didn’t always get along in the very beginning. But that all changed. My mom became more of a friend than a parent, and we did many things together. Skye and Zowie were almost always with us, strengthening their bond with their Meme.
My mom has been there for me a lot over the years, and I will always be grateful that she was. She spent a lot of time with the girls, shopping, hanging out, and doing whatever the girls wanted. We invited her over once in the middle of winter for a picnic – on the living room floor. She and my stepfather would take the girls for weekends, and even bring them to camp for weekend getaways so they could swim and fish.
As the girls got older they knew they could talk my mom, their Meme, about things that were important to them. If they had problems, they could go to her. Their Meme was one of their best friends. Even as adults, they are close with their Meme. This makes me so very happy.
The girls Nana, Faye, was also a strong role model for the girls. Zowie’s grandmother, she took me and Skye in as her own and loved spending time with my girls, taking them to church, and helping them into Sunday school and with everything being at church entailed. She was an amazing woman, and the girls loved their time with her. It was hard on all of us when she passed away.
This woman was there for me as well, guiding me through single parenthood like my own mother was doing. For this, and for her time in mine and my children’s lives, I am grateful.
My bestest, Missy, did a lot for me and the girls as well. We’d take off on day trips to check out yard sales, or go to the coast so we could be near the water and visit little shops, craft stores, and flea markets. We’d shop so much sometimes that the girls would be warn right out. Yup, we could out shop them! We’d also go to the beach.
Once we camped in her yard and another time, when they were older, we had a sleep over at her house – and watched scary movies.
We also took my daughters away for a weekend, staying in a cottage on the coast. We shopped in Camden, and went to look at manufactured homes to dream a little about what we might have some day. Some of them were pretty fancy.
The bestest is a little more hardcore about things than I am, and used to grill boyfriends. Asking them all kinds of questions. But she did it out of love. And for this I am grateful.
My sisters, Sheila and Katie, were there as well. The girls could talk to them, and new they always had somewhere to go. When the girls were teenagers, we took them both to Salem, Massachusetts. Oh the fun! We’d visit Kaite’s parents camp, and have Yule get-togethers at her place.
The girls would spend the night with Sheila sometimes, and the two would take the girls, along with their own children, on adventures to haunted places. They also took them to see The Nutcracker, and to a concert.
For all they have done for my girls, I am grateful.
Skye and Zowie had people. And I might not have gotten through single parenthood without these strong women in my life. Besides the women in our lives, we also had strong men. Check out part two of this series:
Who is helping you along the way? Who is your support system? And how are they helping?