This I Believe

Meghan - Bainbridge, Georgia
Entered on January 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: parenthood

Single Motivation

When it is mentioned that a child comes from a single parent household, the automatic response overheard is usually, “Oh, poor thing!” It is an automatic assumption that a child raised in a household with only one parent should receive sympathy. This is not the case. The perspective of life, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. As young as four, I can recall conversations between my mother and her friends where I overheard sympathetic remarks. Because my mother always taught me that living with a single parent was not a hindrance to my life, those remarks never made me feel as if I should take life for granted nor did it make me feel as if anyone should feel sympathy for me. Those sympathetic remarks only made me a stronger and more devoted individual.

After my mother and father divorced when I was three, I quickly learned first-hand the assumptions made when friends, family, and even strangers learn my father lives in another state. I am bombarded with the same question time after time, “Do you ever see him?” My response is simple and straight to the point, “Nope.” Thought as harsh by most, my response is not sarcastic or even mean-spirited; it is just a simple, “Nope.” I do not feel as if I need a father in my life to be successful. Most importantly, not having a father definitely will not affect the way I respond to situations at school, home, or anywhere else. I have personally seen friends use the fact that their parents divorced to become careless, troubled, and sad individuals. I am afraid these friends will ruin their lives because they have the wrong mindset about their situations.

The fact that a person grew up without two parents in her life is not the deciding factor for her future. It is not the number of parents a person has, but the values the parent they did have instilled in them. Unlike some people, I don’t use the fact that I grew up with only my mother in my life to make people feel sorry for me. I view life as a clear canvas waiting for my artistic touch. I am, also, confident I will become successful because of the values my mother instilled in me at an early age and the stable environment in which she made sure I lived and flourished.

I believe the love of one parent can be enough if the child is raised to believe in herself, and if she is taught strong moral values; yet, I believe the most important aspect is simply, love, of which I was given an abundance. Single parents, as well as their children, are not people to look down upon, but people who should be admired for the things they have overcome. It is because of love that I know I will be successful, and it is because of my mother that I know I can become and do anything I please. Because of my age, there are many things I think I believe, but this is one thing I know I believe.