Single Parenthood- I'm Glad I Paddled The Boat Ashore

The color of the water in the gulf changed from dark blue to black at nightfall, so my vision was hazy, but I held my son tight as our raft bounced on the waves.

My stomach felt weak, and I braced myself for what may be a trip to the edge of the world. I gently stroked my son’s wavy blond hair and rocked him against my chest. His hair smelled like the day we had before nightfall...full of sunscreen, salt, and sweat. The droplets of water on his hair gave off the only light, except for the silver fish splashing in the waves and the tiny white stars twinkling above.

We are a part of the stars and the vast sea, suspended on our raft in rough deep water, miles above the ocean floor, and so far from land that we couldn’t see a line in the horizon, or where the sky ended and the body of water began. Disoriented, I prayed I could hold my head up while our son slept on my chest sucking his thumb knowing I would bring him home safely. Nevertheless, all I knew was that I was waiting for you.

I could see your bright eyes and brown hair sprinkled with water and sand from earlier in the day. I could see you paddling in the dark directionless water toward us and our future lives together. But then, the boat began to spin fast, then faster, as if we were on a ride at a theme park; but, the boat was disappearing from the shore.

My heart raced as we spun backward and further away from what appeared to be nowhere...the night got darker, and I could not open my eyes. I tried to force them open as my heart pounded in my chest. My eyes felt glued together. I frantically splashed water on my face and my eyes opened.- It was a dream.- 

The first time I had this dream my son was a baby and his father and I kept separating for short and long periods of time. I dreamed it after a day at the beach with my son and his father, which happened to be a fun day. -But evidently, my subconscious saw things differently.-

I think it was due to the fact that I refused to admit how frightened I was of someone I dearly loved- I was young and tormented by my situation. Nevertheless, I was obviously more afraid of changing my circumstances than I was of him or anything else. In addition, single parenthood frightened me.

My mother told me once that "there is nothing as constant as change," and it’s true. Yet, so many of us will do anything to avoid changing what feels comfortable and predictable in our lives, when in truth, without change, you miss the things that make life worthwhile or in some cases bearable.

In any event, I decided this dream was a subconscious awakening for me, and there are few things more precious than awareness. I'm glad I paddled the boat ashore.

I've had different variations of this dream throughout my son's childhood and I've often wondered what it meant. And what's bizarre, is my son is now a grown man and I dreamed it again last night. I've dreamed and wrote down different versions of the dream in my journal over the years. I decided to post it today because I realized that many parents, single or married would be able to relate.

All parents cherish their children's safety and future and when our children are born they do not come with an owners manual, in fact, that do not belong to us at all.

In closing, I'm going to leave you with a phrase I wrote long ago,

Motherhood/Parenthood is an art impossible to explain, one which requires a vast sea of love, devotion, compassion, and understanding unmatched by any affection we will know again.  

And boy is that the truth.

Thanks for visiting A Nice Place In The Sun.

And as we say in South Louisiana, "Let The Good Times Roll."

Have a great day!


Sandee said...

I too had a terrible marriage that I finally left. It was the hardest thing, but the very best thing I ever did. I started to grow and to see what a wonderful thing life was.

I'm glad you have a great relationship with your son. I do not. All he wants from us is money and the Bank of America is closed. As soon as we closed the bank he rarely talks to us. It's all about him. He's homeless because he's too lazy to work. It's heartbreaking, but it's his choice. Okay, I'm off topic here, but his is what I was thinking.

Have a fabulous day honey. Big hugs to you and tons of scritches to Simon. ♥♥♥

aniceplaceinthesun.blogspot.com said...

Oh Sandee, I'm sorry to hear that about your son, but I know you're a great mother, I just do, and I hope he will turn things around. After all, we did. I guess that's different, but I believe people can change.

Hopefully, he will get tired of the life he's living...and he'll be back.

I'm happy you left your first husband, and I'm so happy you found someone you love dearly. I cannot think of anyone who deserves it more.

I hope my post didn't make you feel bad. It certainly wasn't my intention.

I just couldn't believe I had the same dream. I still feel like it's my son, "Taylor" and I against the world, although he is out on his own with a girlfriend, so really I'M the one against the world. He's a good kid, but he's as self absorbed as the rest of them.

Your son will grow up and so will mine. Just remember no matter how he acts, he loves you. Do not forget that.

Thank you for your continued support and again, I hope my post wasn't sad.

You have a fabulous day too!

"Big Hugs," back to you.

(And, you, hubby, and Little Bit are still in my prayers.)

Sandee said...

My son is 45 years old Annie. He should have grown up by now. I don't hold out much hope for him to turn his life around. He's too into what he wants and will walk over anyone and do most anything to get what he wants as long as he doesn't have to work. It's a shame. Hubby and I are resigned to letting him do whatever he wants without any help from us. He's used us far to long.

You did not make me feel bad with this post. I just thought I would weigh in.

Have a fabulous day Annie. Big hugs and more scritches to Simon. ♥♥♥

aniceplaceinthesun.blogspot.com said...


I'm glad you weighed in, 'cause that's what the post was for...to vent about how hard it is to rear children. Whether you're married or not. I'm so sorry about your son. It's so hard isn't it? We have to just watch them mess up and can't do a thing about it. It's like being tied to a tree.

Thanks for writing back and letting me know it didn't make you feel bad, 'cause I was worried about it.

I'm writing you more than this, but I have a friend who is outside blowing her horn. She's bringing me to the doctor and I was trying to finish this reply before she got here. So, know I'm going to reply more when I return.

You're the best, and thanks again for letting me know. Come back if or when you have time, cause I'm going to add to this reply.

You have a fabulous evening too!

"Big hugs," back to you-

Ann said...

someone recently sent me a quote. It said "when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, you will change" It made a lot of sense and it's so true. Change, although can be very good,is difficult.

Cheri said...

How cool is this! Ann Thompson, you are so right, the pain will make you decide to change. Damnit Sandee, you make it so hard not to change it! I'm lazy, and comfortably miserable!

aniceplaceinthesun.blogspot.com said...

Sandee, I realized I was finished replying when I finally returned home and had a chance to read what I wrote. My car is in the shop, so I had to ask a friend to bring me to my doctor. Oh, I'm weary of doctors even if they saved my life.

Your comment touched me so I wanted to reply before I left and when I heard her honk her horn I felt like I hadn't said everything I wanted to say.

For one thing, I admire your courageous and candid comment. I think if anyone reads this that's experiencing the same circumstances, your words will help them understand that they're not alone, as well as give them some advice on what to do. All any of us can do is the best we can and it sounds like that's what you and "hubby" are doing.

Thank you for sharing and I meant everything I wrote in my first reply; which isand that is, 'I know you're a good mother and so does your son, and to remember no matter how he acts, he loves you both. Do not forget that.'

I'm sorry I had to dash out before I finished replying.

Have a great evening, and as always, thanks for taking the time to write such a great comment.

"Big Hugs," back to you! And Simon says thanks!:)


aniceplaceinthesun.blogspot.com said...

Ann, I love that quote, it's a good one and you're right, it's so true. Change is difficult, but there are times when I think about different times in my life when I was miserable due to the changes taking place, and think, thank goodness things changed.

Thanks for visiting! Have a great day!

aniceplaceinthesun.blogspot.com said...

Thank you Cheri, laughing...Did we give you too much to think about?

Thanks again for visiting...and taking the time to comment.

Have a great day! :)))


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