Little N and I have begun our summer of solo parenting weekends. L works from Thursday night through Saturday night, most weeks. So kiddo and I are on our own for a good four days/nights a week. Let me say, right now, proper respect and admiration to full time single parents. I do love my special time with Little N - and I need breaks. Fortunately, I get some of those breaks when L is awake and somewhat recovered on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Then I do the glorious housework that both needs done and sort of puts me back in order too.
In the midst of all this, a person and a thing are making my work with Little N easier and richer.
First, our beloved Miss A. She takes my adult-conversation-starved phone calls from the park, meets us at the beach before anyone else is there, and welcomes us into her home & yard. Upon hearing of L's work schedule, Miss A suggested that Little N and I stay with her on Thursday nights. Then I could get up and go to work in the morning and she would keep Little N until noon-ish and bring him back to L. That give Little N some individual time with her and gives L some time to sleep before resuming parenting duties. It worked great! It worked so well, in fact, that she invited us to stay on Friday nights too and just play on Saturday mornings while L sleeps.
My single parenting days would be decidedly more difficult and lonely without my dear friend, Miss A, and her good company, love, and attention for me and my son.
Second, our big blue station wagon. Remember when I told you that I am afraid of driving? I've had to start subduing that fear these days. Little N and I live in the car during our days and evenings together. Thursdays we drive across the city up to Capitol Hill to stay with Miss A and then I drive back down to the office from her place. Fridays when I get home from work Little N and I go to the beach. Saturday and Sunday mornings it's the beach again. Somewhere in there is probably another trip up the Hill to Miss A on the weekend too. So basically there are three places I can drive to comfortably. I'm doing it. It's getting easier.
With this newly beloved vehicle, and driving-skill-under-development, Little N and I are connected to a few more places that we dig and a person that we love. Plus the additional experiences, playmates, and ideas that being out and about grants a kid (and a mom) in the city.
So this challenging time is bringing me some unexpected gifts. A new phase of my friendship with Miss A where I am learning to accept help and support from her in ways that I hadn't before and that are really difficult for me to receive from anyone. Simply having more time with her is fun for me and Little N! I'm also learning to be a more confident, comfortable, and proficient driver. The wagon feels too big for me sometimes, but I'm glad for all the stuff it can carry to the beach and back. And in ways that I'm just starting to feel and to find words for, I'm grateful for this phase of focused time with my son. We are bonding through our funny schedule of more hours together, just us. There's a different familiarity and understanding, something like a rhythm that we keep. I am grateful.