Wednesday, March 02, 2005
The Plight of the Only Parent
I used to think that being a single parent was a really, really hard thing, especially a single working parent. And in many ways it is. But as with most things in life, a little perspective goes a long way. Now that I'm an only parent (to my 10-year-old son, since his dad died), I ache for the days when I had someone else to lean on, talk to, fight with, and generally share responsibilities with when it comes to Lucas. And I long to have a couple of nights a week when he was with his dad and I could go to a movie or have dinner with a friend. (there is a part of me that always thought joint-custody parents had the best of both worlds, and it did work that way for awhile)
Lucas is sick this week. He's had a fever since Monday and it doesn't seem to be quitting. Took him to the doctor today and there's nothing obviously wrong, but if he's still got the fever on Friday they are suspecting pneumonia. That's a very loaded word in this house, since Tony had pneumonia a few months before being diagnosed with lung cancer. I won't even speak the word to Lucas, who has become very nervous about sickness of any kind.
But as it relates to my plight, his being sick means that I cannot go to work. There's no backup...no one I can say "you do it today, I'll stay home tomorrow" to. No one to bounce things off like, "Do you think we should give him [insert drug here]?" We'll get through this week, and my job will still be there whenever I get back. I'm lucky that way. But any sense of shared responsibility is gone.
The irony here is that Tony and I did disagree about a lot of things when it came to Lucas. What we shared, though, was the depth of love for our child that only a parent can feel. When he does something cute or amazing, I want to tell his dad...knowing that it would never be boring or trivial to him. And sometimes I do.