She came to me last night, wringing her hands, a look of exhaustion and fear on her face.
“I need to talk to you,” she muttered, peering at me through worried, brown eyes.
“Sure. Come on back,” I said as I led her to a quiet room. I remembered her from a couple years ago when she brought her boys in for a learning evaluation.
I also remembered that like me, she was a member of the Single Mother’s Club, trying to get help for her kids however she could.
As single moms, we sometimes feel isolated and alone, especially if you have a special needs child.
This is always hard for me, because I want to give my services away. I want education to be free. It is free, I reminded myself. We are all entitled to a free education in this country. We aren’t entitled to a good or even a great education, though. Especially if you have a child with special needs. Or like her, two kids.
Why does it always come down to money?
I only have a select few spots in our private school. If I give them away, it means somebody else is missing out. And I have overhead. Boy, do I have overhead! Expenses most people don’t even know about. I don’t get a fat check from the government, either, and this is what allows me to set my own rules.
Rules I know will get results.
I helped this fellow single mother as best I could. She listened intently, her frown turning into a smile. “How do you do this?” she finally asked. “How do you raise these kids and do right by them when you have to work to feed them?”
“You just do it,” I told her. “It’s not easy, but you just put your head down and do it.”
I may have a weak back, but I have strong shoulders. She picked up on this, relaxing a bit. I went on to tell her that I walked in her shoes, too. As a single mother, I had one child with learning issues, another who was hearing impaired. Sometimes, I didn’t sleep. Sometimes, the decisions were so hard I thought I would lose my mind.
My kids are all raised now. One has his own successful business, something he built from scratch. One is heading to law school in the fall, another off to medical school.
You do what you have to do to raise your kids, to get the help they desperately need.
You don’t know how…you just take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. You just put your head down and do it.
“It ends all too soon,” I told her. “But motherhood never does.”
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