Sunday, February 17, 2008

What Do You Know About Being A Single Parent?

By Coy Bundy

What do you know about being a single parent? What do you really know about being a father? Is the fact that you gave sperm to make a baby that you think gives you the right to control every little piece of his life? Why? Why do you make it so hard for him to have a relationship with you? Are your partying, drinking and recreational drugs more important than this innocent life? So, I left you or you left me, either way we shouldn't leave him. I loved you when we were together and you loved me. Why can't we love this child the same? Why is it such a battle to come to one accord for his sake? Today we're fine and tomorrow we'll be fighting. You were the one that didn't stay or didn't try and fight to stay. Do you really know what it means to be a single parent? It is so much more than paying child support, it's so much more than giving him that one gift that he wants so bad, it's so much more than having the label -- Dad.

It's taking him to his basketball games, doctor's appointments, dental appointment and football practices. It's driving him to school when it's too cold for him to walk on his own. It's defending him in situations he cannot defend himself. It's wiping his tears and rubbing his head when he's sad. It's calming him down in the middle of a basketball game that he may get a tech for. It's explaining to him why he has to stand strong against all the prejudices in the world against a young black man. It's explaining to him why you're not there.

From the moment you whooped my ass in the car while I was carrying your child, I've been protecting him from the world. I protect him because I don't want him to get hurt. Even if it's from his own father hurting his feelings because he never showed up to pick him up. I was a little girl when we met and you were 20 years older than me. I didn't know anything about being a parent, my life had just begun and it was a hard one for him. But we succeeded without your help and will continue succeeding. And I ask again, what do you know about being a single parent?

--Coy Bundy is a single mother and college student from Des Moines and a guest contributor to Brown Iowa.Com.

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