I love being a mother. I never imagined I would but I do. It’s the best thing I have ever done in my life. Ever.
Being a single mother can be challenging; definitely do-able but challenging. Just like every other parent out there, I make sacrifices and I make tough choices. When I go for a run, I have to decide if I can afford a babysitter or if the weather/distance is suitable for pushing a high-energy 3 year old in the jog stroller. If the answer is no to either, then I don’t run. If she is sick, I don’t run. If she is feeling needy, I either push the stroller, or I don’t run. Choices are made – sometimes I have to look at my budget and say “well, gas in the car and oil in the furnace are more important than a babysitter so I can go for a run.” That is my reality.
Usually, I don’t mind. It’s all on me and I am the one making sacrifices so my little one doesn’t have to – that’s my job.
On Friday, I took Miss Moon to the Imagination Movers.
I bought the tickets months ago when they first went on sale. The opportunity was there to purchase VIP tickets at a much greater cost ($200 for the two of us vs. $80 for the two of us). Obviously, I chose the less expensive option. The VIP package provided premium seating (first 10 rows), backstage passes to the “Think Tank" (a special “Party Room with an Imagination Movers theme. The Think Tank will have healthy snacks for all our Mini Mover party attendees”), an exclusive performance by the Imagination Movers, meet and greet/photo op with all of the Imagination Movers, a poster, and a special laminated VIP pass.
Now, I would have LOVED to buy that pass for Marlowe but I just couldn’t justify that amount of money, nor, frankly, could I afford it - $80 was stretching it for this momma. I didn’t think it was a big deal and off we went to the show.
We arrived at our seats (aisle seats 16 rows back) and settled in to wait. Miss Moon’s best friend soon arrived – stopped to say hello and moved up to her seat with her mom. They had VIP seats. My heart broke as my angel asked if she could go sit with her friend. I told her no and she asked “Why, Momma? I want to sit up there too.” It was the very first time that our situation impacted her in a real way – sure I’ve made decisions before that were tough but now, at 3 ½ she understood that somehow what she had was different, not as “good” as that of her friend.
Thankfully, the band soon came out and Mover Rich came running up the aisle giving high fives as he went. Miss Moon got her high five and was mesmerized. She took one look at her friend dancing in the aisle 14 rows ahead of us, let go of my hand and ran up to join her. She spent the remainder of the 90 minute show dancing in front of the stage and on the stairs up to the stage. Mover Scott crouched down and sang to her and she got multiple high fives from all 4 Movers.
Ultimately, she had a wonderful time and doesn’t know that she missed out on anything. And she didn’t. She got to go to a concert with her mom, dance with her 2 best friends to her favourite group, AND go out for ice cream afterward.
It is only mommy who had a little heartache over not giving her everything she could possibly want. (WHAT!????)
Yet, a good lesson lies in here for me (and for all of us). I don’t have to give her the most expensive gifts or the fanciest clothes. I only have to give her my time and attention. She wants that more than anything. The concert she saw was the same as the one the children in the VIP section saw and she had a wonderful experience – something we have talked about each night at bedtime since then.
I used to think that I had to always choose frugality over fun – my little mover taught me that our fun has no limits.