I have a new appreciation for single parents this week! My husband is gone for 12 days with my older boys. They are on a tour through the Midwest with their concert choir, and they have had an amazing trip. But me- I’m really ready for them to be done and come home! I don’t realize just how much my husband does for our family until he leaves (that’s a sad testimony to human nature isn’t it?!)
Speaking of human nature, I had an amazing experience last week. I headed down to Lake Powell for an annual trip with my parents, four brothers and their families. It was a big, loud, dirty diaper outing that we wouldn’t miss! My husband left the same day we did, so I had to drive myself and my two little kids down to Page, Arizona. That may not sound like a big deal for most people, but in my family, my husband does the driving. We are both okay with that! I fall asleep in the car in about 2.4 seconds, and I don’t see well at night. So, I was nervous about this trip. I wasn’t able to leave until 5 pm, and it was 6 1/2 hours to get to Page without the inevitable bathrooms stops. This means I was looking at the back side of midnight before I would arrive. I was supposed to meet my parents at the marina dock at 9:00 am the next morning, so I either had to drive all the way that night, or stop along the way and get up early to finish the trip the next morning. I didn’t know which way it would go- if I was tired, I would stop, so I didn’t reserve a hotel room anywhere.
The miles passed and I felt okay. The kids were great, it stayed light until after 9 pm, and I was deftly avoiding deer on the road. I got to Kanab and knew I had to push on the last 90 miles. I did it! I got to Page about 12:30 am and started looking for a room. No vacancy, no vacancy, sold out, no vacancy. Uh oh. I called all the hotels in town and no one had a room available. I called a locally owed motel and the owner asked which ones I’d tried. He recommended a few to check with and I thanked him. After about 30 more futile minutes, I got a call from an Arizona number I didn’t recognize. It was 1 am, so I thought it might be someone calling back about a room. I answered and it was the owner of the hotel that had told me others to check. He asked if I had found anything and I said I hadn’t. He asked how many people I had with me and I told him it was just me and two little ones. He said, “I just had a feeling you had kids with you!” He then offered to let me stay at his home! He said he wasn’t a creep and would stay on the couch at his hotel and I could go to his home. Wow. There are still good people in this world! I told him I would keep looking and would call back if I had no luck.
So, the end of the story should be that I took him up on his offer and spent a wonderful night in the Good Samaritan’s humble abode. Not so fast…remember I am a single parent this week. I just couldn’t go to a man’s house- by myself -with two little kids- in the middle of the night. I drove to the marina parking, rolled down the windows and crammed myself onto the back seat in my van. It was 87 degrees outside, so I had to see if I would be swimming in sweat or if I could do it. It was tolerable, so I decided I wouldn’t call back. Then he texted me! This guy really was amazing! I texted back and said I’d found something and thank you so much for restoring my faith in humanity! It was a looonnnggg night on that back seat, but we were safe and were there 8 hours early to meet the others!
I don’t know why, but my brain is so used to having someone else to rely on, I swear part of it is just turned off! I showed up two days early for baseball pictures last night. I can’t seem to remember to start the dishwasher. What’s wrong with me?? My other single parent adventures have included being a substitute coach for my son’s baseball game in the rain, and having to dig a grave in very hard dirt for our first chicken casualty this evening. I salute single parents every where for holding families together and making a difference in this difficult world. I would be lost without my husband and appreciate him so much. Give your better half a squeeze and tell them thank you – I don’t know why, but I don’t think we ever say it enough. Thank you Steve. I love you!
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen