I am blessed!
Almost every morning, my youngest son wakes up, puts his long thin arm around me and says, “I love you.” A bit later, my teenage son calls out that he’s leaving for the day and waits for my hug before he goes. When he comes home after school, he seeks me out to help him find a snack. Most evenings, my beautiful teenage daughter plays her guitar and sings, lullabying me to sleep.
These rewards may sound simple, but we single mothers cherish them. These are the rewards for squeezing a bit more energy out of every day to make sure our children have good food to eat, washed dishes to eat from and clean clothes to wear. These are the rewards for getting them to and from their afterschool activities and still, somehow, finding the time to talk about our day’s highs and lows. The single moms featured in “Single Motherhood: Braving the battles, finding the joy” (page 13) attest to the bravery and joys of single motherhood. Like these single mothers, I thank God I have enough. Enough time, enough energy, enough love, enough patience — for my children and myself.
I am also grateful for the Rochester community organizations and individuals who play such vital roles in helping me raise my children. I am grateful for the health care providers who tenderly treat us in times of uncertainty with care and concern and throughout our healthy times. I am grateful for the childcare and preschool programs that helped prepare my children for kindergarten. I am grateful for our schools’ teachers and administrators, for the coaches, the camps, the volunteers and the public and private funding that supports them. I am grateful for the friends and church members who hold me and my children close in the absence of extended family.
One of those friends, teachers and guiding lights is Joyce Dammer, principal of Churchill Hoover Elementary School, who this year retires after 54 first days of school and 38 years of providing a safe, joyful environment for many children (including my own) to learn and grow. Joyce helps her staff to be the best at what they do, and it shows. We’ll honor Joyce Dammer on Friday, May 31, from 4-6 p.m. at Hoover Elementary School. I hope you’ll join me.
Congratulations to Kellogg Middle School as it celebrates 50 years. “Fifty Years Never Looked So Good” (page 43) looks back over the past fifty years at Kellogg Junior High and Middle School. Two of my children—along with thousands of others—have walked through its doors as sixth graders, learned about academics and life and have stepped out as ninth graders more prepared for high school and the world. Past and current students, families, teachers and friends are welcome to celebrate at Kellogg on Friday, May 17. I hope you will join me for this fun community event and become a fan of Kellogg Junior High and Middle School 50th Anniversary on Facebook.
As RochesterWomen magazine celebrates our 75th issue, I want to thank Rochester for embracing the magazine. I am grateful for the opportunity to own and run a business that provides me the flexibility to be a successful single mom. Thank you, Rochester, for being the kind of city I want to live and raise my children in. Although our circumstances may vary, we share the kindness, the culture of a community with love and support of a family.
May God bless you and yours,