Take a peek at Jacob and Lindsey Black’s open-concept kitchen. photos by Keith Borgmeyer When Jacob and Lindsey Black were in the process of...
Welcome inside my head. I’m Brian, and I’m a single parent of a brilliant, obnoxious, wont-ever-be-quiet, beautiful 5-year-old girl. I’m unconventional, unusual, undeterred and an unafraid father who has been blessed to raise her (we’ll call her C) from the age of 2 months. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you have to laugh.
C is funny and always has been. And not “little kid” funny…we all know what that’s like. We laugh because it’s the polite thing to do. No, she’s actually really funny. It’s frightening living with a child who has the kind of comedic wit and timing she possesses. What’s worse is that she’s FUNNIER than I am. I’m dealing with it. *pours drink*
Parenting isn’t easy. Anyone who says so is wrong. That being said, parenting is easy, if you’re willing to accept kids for who they are. You can’t be more than you are, and you can’t ask them to be more than they are because when you do that (and you will), you’re both going to get more frustrated by the moment. That just causes problems for both you and the kid because, let’s be fair, it’s more stressful. However, if you laugh, it eases the situation.
As a single parent, it’s even tougher because you have to play both roles. You don’t really have a tag team partner. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t work together with the child’s other parent.In fact, I suggest just the opposite. But at home, it’s a handicap match versus someone who can twist your emotions because of the sheer joy and love you have for them. You’ll have moments of frustration, but they’ll ultimately be trumped by the memories you’ll get to share laughing about the simplest or craziest, things.
You’re not going to be perfect and your kids won’t be perfect either. I learned a long time ago that life is hard and it’s just better to laugh and have fun with it. There are plenty of times you have to shake your head, or SMH as the cool kids say, at the things your kids will say and do. It’s the job of parents to prepare our kids for whatever life may bring. If I can teach her nothing but a sense of humor, she’ll be okay.
I’ve got a LONG way to go with C. She’s at home for another 14 years, and that feels like no time at all. My job is to prepare her for life, which is wrought with pain, anguish, frustration and sadness. Life is hard, but it’s not going to be any harder than the life we’ve endured already. C and I, we’ll be laughing through it all.