Loving the Growth
Living Learning Loving
by Gail Cawley Showalter
Have you ever had growing pains. I recall when I was a child and my legs would ache my parents would say, “You’re just having growing pains.” Little did I know then that I’d have growing pains later in life too, even when I was all grown up.
Life experiences force us to grow. You leave home for the first time and learn to do laundry, cook, and clean for yourself – growing pains. You marry and learn to compromise with your husband – growing pains. When you bring the first baby home you learn to meet the challenge of getting up all hours of the night. It isn’t altogether pleasant yet you rise to the occasion – growing pains. And then there are the much more unpleasant experiences like when a friend moves away, your parent dies, you lose a lover or are forced to divorce. Personal growth hurts sometime-most times.
When I was fourteen I was the last child remaining at home. My siblings were all married with children. My sister’s husband was in the Air Force and they lived in Hawaii at the time. My mother decided to take advantage of the opportunity and go for a visit. She carefully gave me instructions on how to cook Dad’s breakfast, make a bank deposit, and be the lady of the house while she was away. The day she left I threw myself on the bed and bawled like a baby. Then I got up and went to work cleaning the house. I got up every morning very early and cooked the eggs just the way Daddy liked them and saw that he got off to work at the refinery on time. I cleaned the house until it was spotless. One day my Aunt Nona Mae came by, probably to see how I was doing. Nona Mae was a perfectionist and kept her house as neat as a pin. When she saw how clean our house was I could see the look of surprise on her face. This time in my life was a growing-up and growing painful few weeks. It was a turning point and increased my confidence. Which is what growth does. It builds confidence with each episode.
As difficult as life can be as a single parent there are still moments that are precious and learning to cherish each one will set the stage for your future.
I raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I’m also a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on Amazon.