Ten years ago today, a small boy was born, and I was his mother.

When he was twelve days old, I packed him into a baby sling, and took him with me to my orientation for nursing school. I had gotten into a very competitive program, and I wasn’t going to lose my spot. I don’t know exactly why or how exactly, at that moment in my life, I had gotten a vision of a life outside of being a stay at home mom; whose desire to work outside of the home truly was at odds with everything I had been taught. In my world, being a mother and raising spirits up in the true gospel was the best, most sacred and holy calling a woman could have. And suddenly it wasn’t enough for me any more.

I hadn’t left my faith at that point, and I hadn’t left my bad marriage. I simply knew I needed something more. Something more for me, and more for my children.

This morning I was standing in the laundry room, folding clothes. As I picked up each boys t-shirt, and each pair of shorts, I thought, “This is mine”, and “I gave this to my child.” Me. I’m the provider. I made my own way, and while it’s not ever easy to be a single parent, I have worked hard to give myself and my kidlets something different than I had growing up. I want them to see that I wasn’t a victim, and that I stood up and made a choice. I want them to know that they have the power to decide what their lives will look like, and that they don’t have to settle for what is presented to them. They can find their own way, and their own happiness.

I’m a huge fan of education, and of financial autonomy. Money is the tipping point, and education is the stepping stone. Yes there are many ways to make a living without higher education. But the security of my nursing license, gave me the courage to be alone in the world, and to know that I could take care of myself and my family. That choice, ten years ago, to start school, even with a twelve day old baby, was an absolute fork in the proverbial road. My life looks completely different than it did then, and all I can do is be grateful that I had that chance, at that point in time.

So Happy Birthday to my son, who is a bright spot in my day, every day. He is smart and energetic, and beautiful. He sees things that I do not, and his eyes sparkle when he tells me about them. I am happy, and I am blessed.

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