On Sunday as I sat at my post in the church choir, I looked out over the congregation.
Among the sea of familiar faces, I saw families, couples and single people - the faces of people I've known for years. But for some reason this week I became fixated on one particular mom who was there with her 4 kids, and I tried to imagine how much of a challenge it must be for her to manage her family alone while she waits for her husband to return home from Iraq - after an extended tour of duty.
And then I started thinking about ALL the "single" moms who live with the same challenge - moms like this woman who are military wives, moms who are widowed, moms who are separated or divorced, moms who have adopted, or moms who have never married.
Because to me, these women are superheroes, and I have nothing but the highest respect for each and every one of them.
Personally, I couldn't be farther away from really understanding the life of a single mom. I'm a guy who shares the responsibilities of managing our home and raising our children with a loving partner. These are people who have to literally do it all. By themselves. Every day.
And so as I sat there thinking (and apparently not listening to the sermon) I started rattling off a checklist of some of the things these women have to do on a daily basis that normally are shared (or should be anyway) between a couple. Things such as:
discipline, homework help, music, dance, sports, shuttling to friends' houses or the mall, birthday parties, home repair, school conferences, holidays, doctors/dentists, scouts, buying groceries, cooking, cleaning, having the oil changed in the car, doing laundry, paying bills, buying clothes, being referee, mowing the lawn, and etc.
- All while providing huge amounts of love to make sure everyone else is feeling safe, secure and emotionally balanced.
- All multiplied by the number of kids she's raising.
Then, think about throwing in a baby or two into the mix, just to make it even more challenging.
THEN, on top of all that - think about trying to find some "me" time in an attempt to maintain some semblance of a social life!
And that's why I became so distracted this week.
So, after I scanned the room and counted eight different single moms - all tirelessly doing just one more piece of their part to make sure their children were receiving the spiritual nourishment they deserved, I started to think that maybe they should all be wearing this badge, which I had just designed in my head (instead of listening to the sermon).
And I know I'm not alone in thinking these women are superheroes.
Because why else would they already have an action figure ready to go?