Being a single parent can be depressing; sometimes, it's
hard to appreciate how fortunate we really are. I have been
raising my children for a few years now; the divorce is
history, emotions have subsided, the hurt has pretty much
faded away and I think the worst part is over.
For those who may be just starting down this road, I would
like to share a little episode from my life with you; this
is taken from a letter I wrote to a friend.
Back when this "Mr. Mom" odyssey began, I was
pretty miserable (words like despair and depression come
to mind) but I took the kids fishing, to Busch Gardens,
to the beach . . . and did everything else I was supposed
to do. I took them because I'm their Dad and it's part of
my job, but my heart wasn't in it - it was an "autopilot"
kind of thing. I was so miserable and dejected; all I could
see was the fact that my family was split up. All I could
think about was the fact that my wife, and their mom, wasn't
The mind is peculiar - more people commit suicide during
the Christmas Holidays than any other time of the year.
Lord knows I can understand that. Being surrounded by happy
doesn't make you happy - when you're depressed, everyone
else's happiness just makes despair that much worse.
On this particular occasion, we went to Busch Gardens,
a nasty, depressing place full of offensively happy people.
Days can be really long there - especially when it's a struggle
to ignore the loving couples holding hands and resist resenting
all the happy little families having fun together. I bet
I'm not the only single parent who can relate to that.
It was late in the day and we were back at the Stanley
Falls Flume where they have little tables set up so you
can sit and eat. As the kids ate, I looked across the little
courtyard and saw a mom with a child in a wheelchair.
It wasn't a park wheelchair; it was one of those big, cumbersome
contraptions made for seriously handicapped people who rarely
get out of them. The mother was just sitting there staring
From where I sat, I could see that her child was twisted
up and deformed, breathing through a tube in her throat.
I guess it was Cerebral Palsy or something like that, but
I don't know. The mother just sat there, staring at these
kids, completely lost in thought. I don't think she was
even aware of me at all.