A Man

Earlier tonight, I posted the status below. It means a lot to me as the mother of a child from a broken relationship. It’s not meant to hurt, but to celebrate those of us who have overcome.

Here’s to all the Real men out there… Boys play house. Men build homes!!! Boys shack up. Men get married!!! Boys make babies. Men raise children!!! A boy won’t raise his own children. A man will raise his and someone else’s. Boys invent excuses for failure. Men produce strategies for success!!! Boys look for somebody to take care of them. Men look for someone to take care of!!! Boys seek popularity. Men earn respect by knowing how to give it!!! Boys quit and walk away when things get hard. Men will promise to love you through it all. Re-post in honor of all the men who do the right thing!

I understand that not everyone will get why this status is so freeing for mothers who have been single mothers to babes of boys and have now found a Man to be their knight in shining armor. But if you are…I get you. I feel your pain. I’ve fought your fight.

I understand that there are two sides to every story. But I stand here proud to say that I overcame odds and some day I’ll be able to give my daughter strength that I never thought I had–thanks to her.

I understand that some of the boys will be offended that women (like me) feel this way. But if you are…where are you now? Do you know what your child’s favorite bedtime story is? Do you care?

What hurts me so much is that so many people I know can attest to this status. That we’ve survived bad relationships and still can look at, raise, and love our (innocent and) beautiful children with unconditional love. What helps me is knowing that I have a network of strong women around me who are capable of endless possibilities and that we will give our children that strength, too.

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I am thankful for the Man in my life and for all he has done for ‘lil Miss A and I from the beginning. I could never have been this strong alone. That status reminds me that I’ve had tough times in my life, but I had to get through the broken, beaten, battered, and bruised spots in my life to dance among the sunshine and rainbows. I had to have an experience with someone who didn’t love me the way Mr. Burgher loves me so that I could see how much I really am worth.

Mr. Burgher–you are truly amazing. Thank you for being A Man to ‘lil Miss A and I when you didn’t have to be. Thank you for teaching ‘lil Man what it means to love and respect a woman in the way that she deserves. Thank you for calming me through T’s and D’s.

Mr. Burgher–you are the world to the kids and I. As you prepare to embark on your “mancation”, I pray that you enjoy your reward to the fullest. You deserve this so much, and I am glad that we could make this happen. The kiddos and I really are lucky, thank you for being our Man!

We’re Lucky

“We’ve got a baby!” Four words have never made me cry like these did. Three years ago tonight, Mr. Burgher returned to his house after spending over 15 hours in Labor and Delivery with me (and a few other friends) while we anxiously awaited the birth of ‘lil Miss A. He told his parents that she had made her way into the world (and then had to explain that he wasn’t the one having the baby, but that I was).

When I heard A’s Grandma tell this story the other evening, it brought so many tears to my eyes. Mr. Burgher is that guy…the one who became a man he didn’t have to be. He fell in love with a single mom and her little girl and changed his (and our) whole world.

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That night at the hospital, back when we were just friends, Mr. Burgher proved himself to me. He wasn’t afraid of what he might encounter (surprisingly, my Irish only got up once when he came to the room with an orange soda and I was on a IV only diet). He was a perfect gentleman, asking how I felt (and if I was able to feel contractions yet). He met my parents (who were decked out in Steelers gear and had just traveled the 11 hours from the Burgh to the Beach). He cried tears of joy when he heard ‘lil Miss A’s screams. After my dad, he was the first male to hold and love her (and he formed an immediate bond that to this day still calms her crazy).

Over the next few days, he came to visit from the time the hospital opened until it closed (is this the same Mr. Burgher you Beach family/friends know—he’s NEVER up and at ‘em!). He greeted me at the nursery window with a friendly kiss on the cheek and a proud, “Good job, Mama” that I will never forget. He stared at ‘lil Miss A’s wrinkled feet and bald head for hours. He wrapped, her cuddled her, and loved her. He made us all laugh. He came to the house and spent lots of time with us as we adjusted to new life.

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We didn’t know it three years ago, but there is a reason Mr. Burgher was asleep on my couch the night before ‘lil Miss A was born. Eventually, he would need to tell her about the day she was born—and that he was there. A daddy and his girl, a bond that cannot be broken was formed. ‘lil Miss A and I were so blessed to have you as part of her big day, Mr. Burgher. xoxo