-Go out & be awesome ♡ Denise
Growing up a child in the 80’s, there was little you could do to escape the phenomenon that was Star Wars. My little brother had sheets, a million toys and movies. It was established early on that we were to choose between the dark side or upholding truth and honor like a jedi. We spoke in yoda speak, made our hair to look like princess Leia buns as we traded in our barbies for something more badass. We wished we had our own Wookie and pretended our teddy bears were Ewoks. Anything could become a light saber and we were transported to a galaxy far far away while never leaving our own back yard. Who knew that 30+ years later we, the kids who both loved and feared Darth Vader would be sharing it with our own children.
My son was introduced to Star Wars about six years ago. He was four years old and instantly became hooked. For about 4 months straight every day he would watch one of the episodes over and over again. Carefully looking at each character and analyzing their purpose. Nothing was missed. Then came the posters, the bed sheets, the shower curtains, the toys. The search for a cheaper version of the very expensive Millennium Falcon. We found Halloween costumes. He had chosen the light side and went as a Luke Skywalker. I like the movies, concocted a plot twist. I dressed up as Darth Vader. I remember walking up to him and him jumping up in delight. I whispered the famous line “Luke. ..I am your father. …and mother” he laughed and said “Mommy that’s not the line” so i lifted up my mask and plot twist- my makeup had been done as Queen Amidala underneath. Mind blown moment. He was all excited and screamed “your my mother and my father! !! Whaaaaat! , best costume!” And off we went to trick or treat randomly breaking out our light sabers for a duel in the streets. Because you see i was transformed back to childhood and my son was my best friend.
Fast forward to six years later and he’s eleven. Still loves star wars, still has the shower curtains and the soft cuddly darth Vader blanket. We now have a collection of light sabers and now he favors Mace Windus purple saber. I smile inside because he has chosen the light side and on top of it has chosen a wise master Jedi. We hear in October that the movie tickets are going on sale for the December premier. My son calls me on the way home from school and says “mommy you have to get tickets! ” little did he know that i had just spent the last 45 minutes attempting this and had just scored 2 tickets to the Friday showing of the movie. Yes, it was that serious, yes it was a necessity to buy them almost two months in advance. I printed out the tickets and brought them home to show him. We decided they needed to be in a safe place and every few weeks i would see him go check on them to make sure they were still there. Safe and sound.
The week we had been waiting for was finally here. Friday morning had come and we talked about watching the movie that night. Did a final check for the tickets to make sure they had not been stolen by storm troopers and planned to go at 7. When i got home from work we found our Star Wars T-Shirts and my son brought out two pairs of socks. One Darth Vader, one Yoda. He handed me one of each and did the same for him. We wore mismatched matching socks in solidarity. Grabbed the tickets, took a few pictures and off we went to see The Force Awakens.
Now if you haven’t been to a premier showing, any genre with fans, this is something that you need to do once in your life. People are happy, friendships are forged with strangers, costumes are worn and the comradeship is deep. Everyone is united in their fandom. My son had his light saber and was making friends with kids who wanted to know how he managed to get the purple one.
We finally were seated amidst chatter from young and old, excited squeals from people about what they thought, who was Kylo Ren? My son excited that his old friends, Han Solo, Princess Leia (General Organa), Chewbacca, R2D2, C3p0 and Luke Skywalker were rumored to make an appearance. The movie starts and the credits roll like usual “in a galaxy far far away. ….” i glance over at my son who sits there wide eyed and smiling. He whispers “Let it begin” and i chuckle. To share this moment with him, to be here and be transported back to childhood in wonderment. We were both a couple of kids sitting there in awe of what George Lucas created, light saber in hand we knew we would always be Jedis in our hearts and I knowingly look at my son and think “The force is strong with this one” and everything is going to be ok.
-Go out & be awesome ♡ Denise
I have found a wonderful supportive online community on Facebook and I belong to a Single Parents group. We trade stories, atrocities, vent our frustrations, celebrate our successes and make new friends. Sometimes, there are things you feel better talking to complete strangers about then you do with people who are closer to home. I don’t know why but it does. Well at least to me. I have been inspired by the ladies in my groups and have learned that through this all I am not alone in my feelings or struggles or thoughts. I woke up this morning to a blog post from one of a fellow mom’s Emma Shaffer post about her feelings during this time of year. The dreaded holidays. I know when I was coupled up I didn’t think about things that I think about now and I feel that now I’m privy to a broader world outside of my own four walls. Its no secret that being a single parent is hard and I have posted before how sometimes we feel lonely or forgotten and that it is hard to communicate that.
Emma’s post couldn’t have said it better. It reminded me that as a person, I need to voice my concerns and needs and sometimes that is overwhelming so we bite our tongues.Although the post may not apply to all, I am sure it applies to some. Id like to share her post with you as another perspective from a single mother and if you are interested in reading more please check out her blog at If You Say What You Feel
A Single Mom’s christmas list
I didn’t used to hate this question, though I always found it awkward. I loathe it now. What do people want me to say?
“Oh! I’d love a cute pair of red flats!”
“I would love nice maple cutting board. I love to cook!”
“I’m dying for a new attachment for my stand mixer!?!”
I always feel obligated to ask for things that feel like gifts to give. People like buying you things that they think are a treat or things you wouldn’t buy yourself. But do you know what I really want for Christmas?
I want groceries. No seriously, I want groceries. I don’t want to have to play “what else can we put on top of rice” game, and I don’t want to tell my son for the umpteenth time that we can’t go to the store and buy fresh fruit because mama doesn’t get paid for another week. I don’t want to get everything on my grocery list in my cart and then try figure out which third of it to put back. Do I put back the cheese, juice and broccoli, or the apples, milk and tortillas?
I want the money to fill my cavities. My dental insurance only covers one cavity every THREE YEARS, and I have 4 cavities. I have had 4 cavities for a year, and they are starting to get painful. I would seriously love to fork over the cash and have the pain be gone. You weren’t going to spend $400 on my present??? Oh, how forward of me.
I want you to come clean my house. Not because I secretly hate you and want to see you toil cleaning up my messes, but because I am fricking tired, and I just can’t do it all. Not even with a toddler who knows to take a rag to spills and pretends his plastic golf bag is a vacuum cleaner.
I want socks and bras and underwear. Please, PLEASE can you buy them for me? Taking a toddler into a women’s clothing store is my worst nightmare. I can never seem to justify replacing the bras that are only kinda pokey, and the underwear that is totally the wrong size, but not disgusting enough to be thrown out.
I want more sick days. I use all of my 2 official sick days and most of my paid time off on sick days for both me any my son. We always get sick in tandem, and that always makes for double the days needed off of work.
Among other intangibles: I want to feel less lonely, I want to leave the house on time (OK even half of the time having on-time departures would be nothing short of a miracle). I really, really want to be told I’m doing a good job, but don’t know how to ask for this, and then feel that the reply is genuine. I would really like to feel like less of a burden to society, but I know that I’m asking for a lot here.
So I guess I’ll settle for asking for cooking classes, bath salts and fancy coffee. Because if I ask for what I really need you might be uncomfortable. And then we might actually have to do something or feel responsible as a society for forcing single moms to fit their square peg of a life into a round hole of convenient holiday gift giving. Please just give me the gift of being able to ask for the help I need and not simultaneously feel bad about it. That’s what I really want.
So often we have heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” but what we don’t realize is that it also takes a village to just function and I personally think it takes a village to help a Mom- in whatever form you take. Married, single or separated. We all need a village, a squad, a group of homies ready to help at a moments notice.
My son and I live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. We are 324 miles (5 hour drive) from my immediate family in Florida. We miss out on the grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins with a lot of things. So we (I) have built us a very close knit family consisting of friends who have become equally as important as blood relatives. In fact, they have all been introduced to my family who accepts them as one of our own. I used to get sad that we lived s far away and missed out on things. I used to think I was doing damage to my son by being so far from family. But ill have to tell you, the ladies that support us are amazing. We have had cheering from the stands at games, summer adventures all over the city, sleepovers, dinners, community groundings (were all the kids get in trouble at once lol) arts and crafts, trick or treats, birthday parties, fundraisers, car pools, last minute babysitting, pot lucks poolside lunches and the solid rule that whoever is watching our kid is resident acting Mom and if she says your grounded, timed out, or even mentions the side eye my kid gave…woe to the child lol . I even have had an imaginary tooth fairy on speed dial. You name it we have it!
I honestly don’t know where we would be without our honorary Aunts, Tias, Uncles, Coaches, play cousins and brothers and hermanas. My son is very loved and we are so much richer for having you in our lives. For those in my “squad” reading this, thank you for making us part of your families. Living in a town with no relatives is hard. Living in a town with no relatives and being a single mother is harder and I am honored.
So if you have time today, take a moment to thank your “life support” your comrades, your sisters from another misters, and if you are lucky enough to have landed one of us single moms in your crew – come over for wine or a hang out- we love having you here! ♥
Sooooo this just happened.
Confession: cat jumped on my back and started kneading my shoulders. Felt like a tiny massage so i let her. I now realize this is the s#!t single women do when they have given up on dating. Im a damn cat lady bwahahaha
This is a slippery slope people. I’m in need of an intervention. Send me your cousins, divorced dad’s, jaded brothers, best friends-coworkers-vet assistants-uncles-Neighbor. Because i also bought my cat a sweater yesterday. Lol
-Go out & be awesome ♡ Denise
A good friend of mine with an equally effed up personality and sense of humor as me came across this little gem and tagged me on it. I laughed so hard at my desk at work and wrote back to him that i didn’t know if I should feel loved that he tagged me or feel sad that he thought of me and knew I could relate. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from the article but please check out the post in its entirety at Single Girl Problems
I have realized that in life you have to have a sense of humor about most things. Thinking humorously about things really makes the time go by smoother and it doesn’t weigh on you as much. I like to think of laughter as a fun, umbrella drink that you order because of the taste and sometimes it knocks you out of your seat. I have been officially single for about 2 1/2 years, its so noticeable that my 11 year old son actually brought it up last night while we were in the car driving home. He asked me out of the blue “What ever happened to you trying to get an online date” and I replied “Well, I tried and it didn’t go so well, not really getting any hits” then in his 11 year old wisdom he replies “Wow that sounds real sad, like you should be depressed” and I said ” well damn, no I’m not depressed (this week), I have a really good life and its not all summed up by whether or not someone likes me” and he said “Well, yeah but it sounds a little sad”. I should have been a little bummed but in honesty I wasn’t and then I laughed that I raised a child that is comfortable enough to be open with me and speak with such candor. Mom win. Totally- even if my son thinks that temporarily I’m a loser.
I did question myself the other day as i was shaving and thought- meh no one is gonna see this…and then I thought No ma’am, if you let this go, whats next? What if I am randomly driving down the street and I get rear ended by some tall dark and handsome man who then falls in love with my acerbic wit immediately and wants to whisk me away on an impromptu vacation and then coyly touches my leg and to his horror and mine, my hairy legs get tangled in his watch… Not likely to happen. However just for funsies I’ll shave the legs and the whatnot’s. You just never know.
In the meantime, I’ll pass the time with my friends who share in my laughter and like to poke fun at me. They are the best anyway. Like a good shot of tequila after a bad day
Name: Henry B.
What your kids call you: My son calls me Dad & my daughter calls me Daddy
Your Passion: I’m passionate about education and extracurricular activities. I want to expose my kids to everything and give them the opportunity to achieve whatever they desire in life.
Funniest parenting Memory: my 5 year old daughter tells my 10 year old son, he’s smart, but not smart smart… I asked her to explain and she says, if he were smart smart, he’d learn how to stay outta trouble!
Most difficult time being a parent: when anyone I the house is sick!
If you could give someone advice what would it be: being a father is the hardest job in the world, but it’s also the most rewarding. I get the opportunity to shape the minds of two impressionable children and prepare them to do greater things than I can even imagine
OK so the most happiest thing just happened, Hotel people will understand. We meet thousands of people a week working here and a few stand out good and bad. Mostly bad I’m sad to say. In my 17 years working at a hotel i have only been moved by 2 people. 2 whole people out of millions that stood out. One in 1999 and one in 2011. When i met the guest from 2011- he had come in to plan a party for his wife’s father, as we got to talking i found out he was terminally ill. Mold exposure and it had gotten to his brain. I remember sitting and talking to this guest in the lobby for over an hour and forever being changed by his positivity and humor. I thought about him often throughout the years wondering if he had passed and how i wish more people had his outlook on life. Especially when we get cussed out over beds, eggs and towels on a weekly basis. Face it most humans are poor ambassadors for love and are frankly assholes when they travel. Anyway, this morning I’m helping out at the Front desk and i see a familiar face, he comes up and asks me “Are you Denise?” and i say “Yes” and he says “Not sure if you remember me, I’m ______ i was here in 2011 and booked a party with you” Instantly i light up- its him! My guest who made an impact and i say “Yes! of course i remember you- you and i spoke forever you were terminal and here you are!!” and so he goes into detail about how hes at the Mayo clinic and he’s still terminal but he’s outlived 83 people!” fast forward and hour later and he passing on some more nuggets of humor and stories and all i can think is how amazing life is. This man who is terminal has beaten the odds so far and has the amazing outlook on life and here i am complaining about little things and listening to assholes complain about pillows. However i consider seeing him again a gift from the Universe and i humbly accept.
It’s Monday, the start of my workweek. I woke up feeling particularly good today. Slapped on my favorite black wrap dress, styled my hair a bit and got my son ready for school. He’s just come off thanksgiving break and me, a four day weekend. All is well.
About an hour and a half into my workday i get the call from the nurse that my son is sick and i need to pick him
up. I leave a little stressed because i know i have things that need to get done but the poor guy isn’t feeling well so off to school i go. We arrive home and i get him settled make him some chicken and rice soup, gingerale and crackers. I make sure he does his math homework for the week, feed the dog and the cat, pick up a little, catch up on what i can from home in regards to work, text his father to see if he can watch him at his house so i can go back to work. After not hearing from him i resign to chasing into yoga pants and a tank. I tell my son to go take a nap “the body heals while you sleep” i say and off he goes upstairs.
I take a short nap then log into HBO Now and decide to watch Sex and the City. I know in 20 years late and i never got into it. With my child asleep i can catch up on season 2. I remember my mother in her 30s watching this show and loving it, i was busy being a teenager then a traveling twenty something so for me to sit still and watch TV was unheard of. Now i find myself drawn to this show as a 36 year old single woman. I kind of get it. I relate on a small scale, cringe at how they behave in certain situations and cheer when it looks like they find the one, jeer when i realize it’s not. I get it, the guilty pleasure of this show. This show that aired about twenty years ago somehow applies to me today. Except i don’t have a squad of women to party with or fancy restaurants to try. My days are filled with day to day things that i love.
I decide that since i haven’t been on a date in YEARS that for tonight i would cook a nice fancy dinner just for me. So i did, a roasted whole chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans, and I’ll drink it down with a glass of wine. My son is on soup and watching Jesse on TV so i sit in my sunroom. It’s 70° even though it’s the last day of November. I decide to dine out here with the sounds of the Spanish guitar playing from my Spotify list and i even lit a candle. Aside from the cat and dog occasionally begging for food. I have to say this is nice. I should do this more often. There’s no need for us to miss out on the nice date food or experiences because we’re single or mother’s or work really hard. It just takes a little preparation and the stars to line up just right. Right now I’m transported to a little café in Barcelona, i imagine im listening to live music and for a second I’m a new person. Keep dreaming people and don’t forget to do something for yourself ♡
-Go out & be awesome ♡ Denise