Prayers of a Single Mom.
It just struck me today that I have been repeating some prayers to the woman upstairs – or, actually, anyone else that might be listening…
So in true Cara fashion – I will over-share them with you.
1. Dear God, Please let the crazy manifest itself on the subway platform – BEFORE I board the train.
Now I suppose this prayer can be seen as symbolic of a larger life prayer with deeper meaning…but it is literal as well.
Since moving to Washington Heights, which is 130 blocks up from where I used to live, I now have a lovely little thing called a commute.
After 10 years of being walking distance from the office, I now get to do what everyone else in the rest of the country does every. single. day.
Side note: Shockingly, I sort of look forward to the commute because I get about 25 minutes to myself to read, and be completely unavailable by cell or blackberry.
If that is not heaven I don’t know what it.
So what if there is someone pushing up against me that hasn’t showered in a week…my blackberry isn’t working and I am joyful.
But back to the prayer – before I board that overly crowded train, I scan the platform for any sign of crazy.
Now, let me elaborate here…we all have been out on a date before and are well aware that someone can appear to be completely normal. Appear is the operative word here.
But we also all know, that once those doors close and you are cut off from the rest of the world – that normal date becomes your worst nightmare.
And spew crazy all over your perfect little morning (or life).
The rules that exist in the dating world, apply in the commuting on the subway world as well.
This prayer is said extra hard just before the train runs express from 59th Street to 125th Street (or vice versa). That is a solid 14 minutes I can not escape the train.
And every single day I say this prayer over and over again before we start running express.
(And then part of me begins to wonder if I am in fact the crazy one.)
2. Dear God, while I am bizarrely enjoying my commute, please don’t let Ellie do anything that might cause bodily harm.
This includes, but is not limited to:
– climbing on anything
– climbing into anything
– touching anything that is hot
– unplugging anything, and trying to put something other than a plug in its place
– choking on anything
– trying to walk and biting her tongue, lip or anything else that might need stitches
– cutting her head open, leaving the nanny with no choice but to rush her to the hospital and have someone other than a plastic surgeon stitch her face up, all before being able to contact me
– somehow growing tall enough to unlock all three locks on the door, and roaming Manhattan all by herself
Don’t judge. I bet you have irrational fears too.
3. Dear God, please don’t let anyone mug me. I don’t have time to deal with the drama.
Seriously, that is the way the prayer goes. Dear God, I don’t have time for annoying bullshit. I have bills to pay, work to do, calls to return, and doctors appointments to keep – so please keep that punk ass kid away from me and my cell phone, my wallet and my entire purse. I need them all – or I wouldn’t be schlepping them 130 blocks.
I, however, do not need a delightful evening conversing with the NYPD about what is likely considered to be petty theft.
4. Dear God, Please don’t let anyone kidnap Ellie.
Yep. Say it every night before I go to bed. I am pretty sure that I have learned to sleep while hearing every single noise in my apartment. Now that Ellie has her own room, I don’t have the luxury of obsessively checking to make sure she is still in the crib (and breathing) a dozen times an evening.
Okay, perhaps my exposure to morning television has warped my perception of reality, but I really say this prayer every night.
And when I am really in a crazy place, I actually contemplate bringing her crib back into my room, so she can share a room with me again, and I can role over and stare at her.
That’s when I say the 4a prayer – Dear God, please stop me from losing any sense of sanity that I have remaining.
5. Dear God, Please don’t let Ellie love the nanny more than she loves me.
This prayer totally sucks, because it highlights the fact that I am away from Ellie more than I am with her. And Ellie’s nanny is really the next best thing to me (and my sister and my mom). Ellie’s social calendar is more packed than mine, and she has seen more of our new neighborhood than I have, because Jillian is so dedicated to Ellie.
But when I am having a bad day, I can’t help but wonder how Ellie knows that I am the mom and Jillian is an extension of me, instead of the other way around.
And that’s when I say the prayer.
6. Dear God, Please don’t let me run out of tampons, red wine or toilet paper after Ellie has fallen asleep for the evening.
Each of these things has happened, and each has created their own little version of hell in my entertaining universe.
Scenarios like these cause me to get slightly angry at the lovely supportive friends that say things like… “Oh don’t be sad about being a single mom…the grass isn’t always greener, just because I have a husband, doesn’t mean I have it easy. He annoys me sometimes.”
And that is when they tell me some cute little story about something irritating their husband, boyfriend, or life partner did.
And that is when I think, “No, you’re right…the grass isn’t always greener, but having an additional adul in the house does mean that if you run out of tampons you don’t have to come up with creative solutions until the nanny arrives the next morning, or face waking your 10-month-old at 11pm and running to the nearest drug store.”
It also means you have someone to yell at about your own forgetfulness…which, let’s be honest, can be extremely gratifying.
So I have to wonder, what are your prayers?