Joseph Scialabba is a single father from the Chicago area who unexpectedly lost the mother of his child. This blog post is part of a series on single-parenting that chronicles his experience with raising a female child alone in the 21st century.
A couple weekends ago we celebrated my daughters 5th birthday. I always go a bit over the top for her birthday party: a bouncy house, gourmet cake, and a yard full of her friends. I've been told I overcompensate with her birthday sometimes and you know what? The critics are right, but I don’t care.
Her first birthday was in the midst of my initial custody battle with her mother, leaving me unable to even see her. Unfortunately I wasn’t invited to her first birthday. Is that something she will remember? No, but it is something I will never forget. It drives me to constantly try to create memorable moments for her (and us as a family) because we both learned the hard way that our time together is fleeting.
I can't change what’s happened to our little family; no one can. I can’t tell you that I have all the answers either, because I definitely do not. But I can tell you fellow parents, and people in general, to take the time, smell the roses and enjoy your family vacations.
Do what you can now and tomorrow because eventually that time will run out for us all; the end of the hourglass of sand that is our lives. Get out and travel - show your children how big the world truly is, open their minds up to the full world of possibilities that they can accomplish. Teach them to dream big and dream often.
We often get too caught up in life’s checks and balances; whether it’s bills, stress or trying to preen for strangers on the internet with social media. The truth of that all, I discovered, is that a few weeks after you have departed this earth, the only ones who will remember you are the family and friends you chose to share in those special moment.
We all get caught up in the mad scramble to advance our lives and the lives of our loved ones; I’m as guilty of that flaw as anyone I’ve ever met. I sacrificed time with loved ones (and countless relationships) for bigger paychecks and the opportunities that were laid out before me.
There's nothing wrong with being ambitious but if you're not taking the time with your kids, your spouse and yourself, you are missing out on what this life truly represents.