Our "light and funny" conversation soon shifted to something a little more serious. To me. (And, apparently to D as well).
We began talking about Aiden and I bought up something that's constantly on my mind. Am I doing enough to foster resilience in this child? Am I doing enough to help mold and shape him into a well-adjusted, socially competent, self-sufficient young man?
I think about these things.
Aiden's other parent has chosen to not be apart of his life, and I know that as his mother, I can not completely fill the void that may result because of this. I can teach Aiden that the world is filled with different types of family structures; I can make sure he knows that he is loved and cherished; I can make sure that he gets a damn good education; I can make certain that he's well-read and well-traveled and that his weekends are filled with swimming and soccer and kid-friendly outings. And I can work hard and get the high-paying dream job to pay for all of these things.
I can't replace his father.
And as I try to foster resilience in this child, it worries me.
I think I found a solution.
As I was having dinner with D, I rallied him up as Aiden's newest mentor. Heck, Aiden already loves and looks up to him so I might as well milk it for all it's worth! He'll be spending a couple Saturdays per month with the kid doing "boy stuff," whatever that means.
I say all this to make one point: single parents can create protective factors in our children that far outweigh their risk factors. We can foster resilience in them and they can grow up to be well-adjusted and socially responsible.
It can be done.
We just have to put in the work.
Bottom line: never underestimate the life that you can create for yourself. And your children.