Every time I travel with my 9 year old my aloneness is magnified.
The reality that I have never had that experience of what it feels like to be a family in the more traditional sense is heightened.
It has always just been he and I.
Before that, during his first year of life, I was ridden with severe Post Partum Depression and in an incredibly abusive marriage. My choice to liberate us from that situation was the hardest decision I have had to make, yet by far the best one.
So, here I am 8 years later, raising a young man alone….
I did not think that I would be single for this long; I did not imagine that I would not yet have the experience of partnership, of love….that person, my person, who effortlessly adores me and my child. That solid and cohesive family unit.
I have been determined to give my son experiences such as what his friends are experiencing – even if I am doing it alone.
As each year has passed, I have become braver in our adventures. Traveling alone with a child is no joke. When you are the only adult and all is reliant on you, your resources, your intuition, your decisions, your skills….there are moments of being brought to your knees. For me, those moments usually bring me to tears and take me to a space of overwhelm in my aloneness. They can come from exhaustion but also elation -- that true desire to be sharing these experiences with another. Not just for the extra hands but also very much for the shared joy and celebration of living, exploring, experiencing, and raising small people in a fun and conscious way.
This past adventure was a week road trip including 4 nights camping off the grid. No cell service, no other human, no toilets, no running water and refrigeration – no one except he and I. As I hunkered down and took on the task of doing everything, I felt my strength rise – I felt a newfound capability and power in who I am and where I have come from as a woman and as a mother.
I had many moments of feeling invincible – those mamabear moments where I was in a deep bow to myself and the role I have played in my son’s life.
It is those moments when I was overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion for this journey that he and I have been on together.
The precious, irreplaceable years of aloneness with this being.
Those moments of recognition of the team that he and I are and although I don’t have that person, my person, to share the highs and lows with, I most certainly am not alone.
I have this being that grew in me – this being that heard my heart beating from inside me – this being whom I have the privilege of loving and sharing life with.
And, in those moments I feel full, happy, and grateful – those moments when the joy trumps the challenge and I surrender deeper into who I am as a woman and a mother.