Single Mom Out Loud

The joys (and desperation) of raising a boy without a man

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Single Motherhood And The Drama of Having a Gifted Child

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while but I’ve been so busy with work and moving that I kept forgetting, so here it is.

I am constantly hearing from my mommy friends about how stressed they are because their kid are picky eaters, or are spoiled, or are mean to other kids. I have heard every complain one can hear about kids. And every time I hear mothers talk about how they feel their lives are over because they have a child or how they don’t feel like themselves anymore, I silently thank the universe I am not one of them.

People are constantly asking me how it is to be a single mother, and I think they are always surprised with my answer. To start, I don’t feel in ANY way that my life is over or that I am not myself anymore. Quite the contrary; I feel like my life is just starting and that I am finally starting to figure out who I really am. And that’s thanks to Kaio and his presence in my life.

Kaio is just all around awesome. I know most mothers are blindly in love with their bundle of joy that they fail to see what spoiled punks most of them really are. But I promise you I am not one of those mothers. I am harder on Kaio than I am on anyone else, but that’s because I want him to be the best version of himself. I love that kid to death and I refuse to become one of those mothers who enable their kids bad behavior. I congratulate him when he is great and I discipline him when he is bad. I am raising a man, not an entitled self absorbent being.

Every person who has met Kaio says the same thing about him and these people don’t even know each other. They all mention two things about Kaio: the way he stares at you as if he is looking into your soul and his soul itself. Now, I am not a christian or a spiritual being in any way so I can’t really tell you what they mean. As much as I try to read books on spirituality, meditate and sing kumbaya, this whole new age thing is not for me. I prefer world affairs and science. I like debating both to a fault. But everyone of my friends who do enjoy the whole soul enlightenment idea, they all say that Kaio has an “old soul”. That he is enlightened and evolved. Whatever that means.

What I do know is that he is bright. Extremely bright. Kaio said his first word (mamma) by 5 months, he started crawling at 6 months, and started walking at 9. His development hasn’t slowed down a bit. At 12 months he learned to ride his scooter and now at 15 months, he can tell the difference between all 10 numbers and primary colors. He has an ear for music applauded by one of my good friends who is a drummer, and he absolutely hates baby talk. In fact, he prefers adults over kids any time of the day. And this is just his professional resume.

He is so much more than that.

Kaio is sweet and extremely happy. He smiles more in one day than I probably have in my entire life and there are very few things in this world that will bother him. The kid is just all around chill. I have no idea where he got this personality from but I am glad he has it.

I am not trying to say he doesn’t have his moments. We all do. He will have grumpy days in which not even chocolate cookies will please him. He will have temper tantrums in which may look like the world is coming down upon humanity. And he will even have days in which he will spend hours just giving me the silent treatment, refusing to say a word no matter what the emergency. But those grumpy days, temper tantrums and silent treatments are rare for him. They are so rare I even enjoy them. As crazy as it may sound, its a breath of fresh air. Because honestly, sometimes the pressure of having a nearly perfect child gets to me. I am not even close to being the perfect mother, and the fear of potentially ruining him with my flaws is too much for me to handle sometimes. I call it “the drama of having a gifted child”. And I hope I don’t sound ungrateful by calling it that.

That’s Kaio. Sweet. Loving. Well centered. Mature. And extremely smart. He does in fact make my life so much greater and exciting. Yes, sometimes its hard and most of the times its also exhausting, but neither of those two things are bad necessarily. Every success story you hear involves hard work and sleep deprivation. No one has accomplished anything spectacular by drinking all night and sleeping in until noon. And that’s how I look at my situation as a single mother. I might not be solving cancer or fighting for world peace, but I am contributing to the world in a different way: by raising the best human I can possibly raise. And that’s a whole lot more than a lot of people can say.

No doubt things changed, but for the better. I still have a life and I am still myself, I just modified it a little to fit him in it. Instead of spending every weekend doing something crazy, I now take only one weekend out of the month to do that while Kaio stays with my mom. Either be Vegas or San Diego or whatever. Instead of going out every night, I now only go out 2-3 times a week after he is already asleep (to avoid taking his time with me away from him). Instead of spending every Sunday at a bar with friends, I spend it with him (and friends) exploring new museums or new hikes, which is much healthier anyways. In fact, Kaio is only 15 months and he has visited every museum in LA, including LACMA, MOCA, Getty, Natural History and the California Science Center. He has definitely enriched my life culturally, because I probably wouldn’t have gone so frequently if it wasn’t for him.

So this my new and improved life. The thrill of getting drunk every night was replaced with the joy of seeing him change. The excitement of being 100% free was replaced with the fulfillment of teaching him new things, cool tricks and the world in general. Children see the world through the eyes of their caregivers, so my hope is for Kaio to see the best the world has to offer. A friend’s father once told me: “Life offers a man no greater satisfaction than the raising of the next generation”. I think the same applies to women. Its fun. Its a gift. Its a privilege. And it’s inexplicably satisfying if you are brave enough to stick around and do it.