I Bow To You

There is no calling in the world that can compare to parenthood. That includes all of you who love a child and protect and provide for that child. This is a snapshot of my daughter, Taylor, and her daughter, Adelaide. Fortunately, Mark is a wonderful husband and father to them. But that’s not how it is for nearly 14 million parents in the U.S. who are raising 22 million children. It’s been a decade since I became a single mother, so I’ve been thinking about you, the fathers and mothers out there who go it alone. This is my very feeble attempt to pay tribute to you. I hope you’ll forgive my lack of poetic talent and feel the sentiment and share it if you love someone who might benefit from a little bow.

If you have no arms

To hold your crying child but your own arms

And no legs but your own to run the stairs one more time

To fetch what was forgotten

I bow to you

If you have no vehicle

To tote your wee one but the wheels that you drive

And no one else  to worry, “Is my baby okay?”

When you have to say goodbye on the doorsteps of daycare

or on that cursed first day of school

I bow to you

If you have no skill but your own skill

To replenish an ever-emptying bank account

And no answers but your own to

Satisfy the endless whys, hows, and whens your child asks and asks again

I bow to you

If you have no tongue to tell the truth

To keep your beloved on the path without a precipice

And no wisdom to impart

Except the wisdom that you’ve acquired

I bow to you

If the second chair is empty

Across the desk from a scornful, judging authority waiting

For your child’s father to appear

And you straighten your spine where you sit

And manage to smile and say, “No one else is coming—I’m it.”

Oh, I bow to you

If your head aches when the spotlight finally shines

on your child because your hands are the only hands there to applaud

I bow to you

If your heart aches because you’ve given until everything in you is gone

And your kid declares, “It’s not enough.”

And you feel the crack of your own soul as you whisper,

“I know, baby. But it’s all mama’s got.”

Oh, how I bow to you

If they are your life while you are their nurse, tutor, maid

Bread winner and bread baker,

Coach, cheerleader and teammate…

If you bleed when your child falls down

I bow, I bow, I bow

If you’re both punisher and hugger

And your own tears are drowned out by the running of the bathroom faucet

because children can’t know that mamas hurt too

Oh, mother of mothers, I bow to you.

—Toni Sorenson

Inspiration from Single Parent Bloggers Worth Checking Out








2 thoughts on “I Bow To You

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