Today I finished writing the book, the real book (as some friends would call it). Today I finished the story book I wrote for my wonderful little boy. I call it, “Where did Marco Come From”, in which I try to explain how he was brought into this world. It’s his story, our story.
When I first decided to become a single mother by choice, I knew there would come a time when I would have to explain that not all children have a mom and a dad. I would have to explain, that all children come from love, and that ultimately he came from the most pure, big and wonderful kind of love. He came from the love and dream I had of becoming a mom, of becoming his mom.
At first, writing the story was a bit hard. I had an idea of what I wanted to tell him. I had been to two different family therapists (the second just to confirm what the first one said, because I wanted to make sure that the decision I made was the best for us. Yes I know I tend to have a need to control everything; my friends call me out on it, but hey, it’s bigger than me!). And I had made a mental script of what I would say when the daddy issue came up. I had a lot of time to write this book, given that when I started my little boy was only one year old. But since I’ve been so lucky to have this huge support system from my family and friends, I felt a sense of responsibility to write a book that single moms who don’t have that support could read and use when the time was right. It was that particular sense of responsibility that made me forget to write from the heart and instead I started writing from the mind, which made me feel I was doing something for school or work.
So today I decided to go back to my first draft, write the story only for Marco and me, letting my ideas flow with and from the heart. The result was the most beautiful morning of writing and finishing the book, the real book. My cousin, who is an awesome illustrator, is going to draw my ideas into the story, so I can actually make a real book as a gift for Marco, and use it when he starts asking about his dad. A couple of close friends are reading it and helping me with some cleaning/writing details. And hey, if a fellow single mom finds it helpful, it makes this gift even more special because not only did it help me process what I would like to say to Marco one day, but I would’ve also helped another brave woman who decided to put all the love she had to give into the wonderful journey that is being a mom.
If I had to give an advice to single moms (I know I can be pretentious, no one is asking me for advice and I’m no expert) it would be to follow your heart. All families are different. For mine, books can be our way of communicating; for yours it can be singing or cooking or just having a good old fashioned talk. In the end all that matters is knowing that with honesty and a whole bunch of love, explaining to your child why you are a single mom will be easier than we all thought. And when I get scared that the day when I need to explain is getting closer, knowing I have the book makes me ten times more at ease.