Living Room: Still a work in progress...
A year ago, I was laying in a full sized bed, with an arm cuddling my baby while a hand cradled my Galaxy S. Two sets of eyes peering into the beauty of Avatar as the clock struck midnight. We were in the family wing of a homeless shelter. Five family units with revolving doors. Four families went off to forever homes, while three more settled into the temporary serenity of three meals a day + bed and bath that didn't have to be shared. The Hotel, as Emma liked to call it. The most memorable fragment of our shelter stay was my transformation into double agent - gaining a status as participant and observer, with a focused view on what a homeless family really looked like.
I was not the only single mother, nor were the families comprised of only single mothers. Among us was a husband and wife with a troop of four, and a girlfriend and boyfriend with a set of brand new babies, and the thought process changer: the single dad with the toddler son, and the two little girls who clung to us women with hugs and requests for sleep overs because they were missing their mother so much. Yes, we all had our stories, and for a brief period in our lives we became a collective, sharing child care advice, academic support, and guidance on the right and wrong ways to comb and care for little natural curls. And when it was time to move on, we congratulated each other and waited for our own happy endings.
As 2011 became 2012, it was evident how much things have changed for us. At midnight, I was in the comfort of my own home, smiling into my computer screen as I shared a New Year's toast with my grandparents via Google Video Chat, and a loving glance at my sleeping baby cuddled up next to me on the couch. A shiny moment of pure bliss.
And as the sun rose and prepared to set on the very first day of this brand new year, a grand feast of Hoppin' John and fixins helped my bliss hang around just a little bit longer.
I hope that all of you had an exhilarating start to 2012. May the prosperity be in abundance for us all.