Raising a loving little gentleman is one of my proudest achievements

Posted 24 January 2019

Emma is a single mother to a 19-month-old son. Together, they love exploring nature – whether it’s at the beach, in the woods or at the nearby wetlands centre, feeding the birds. Here she writes about how raising a loving little boy is one of her proudest achievements.

My proudest achievement as a single parent is very simply managing to raise a loving little gentleman.

There are some prominent things I am absolutely proud of in the last 12 months since I became a single parent: managing to successfully hold down a full-time job whilst maintaining my own mortgage, moving house to provide a better future for my son, and taking up running and completing a 26-mile trail marathon.

But my standalone proudest moment to date, as a single mother and a mother in general, revolves around one single brief episode during my son’s toddler gymnastics class. He was 17 months old, and like all active 17-month-olds absolutely relishes the chance to run wild and free given the slightest opportunity of some open space.

At this time he had been going to nursery for a couple of mornings a week, and though he is used to being amongst other children of his age, he is an only child with no siblings so already fiercely independent and autonomous. He would run around excitedly doing his own thing, exploring the gym equipment and occasionally going to investigate what the other toddlers were doing and often try to join in with them. And then that moment was about to come.

He sprint-waddled across the gym floor with the grace of a baby hippo and the speed of Usain Bolt, just as one little girl older and bigger than him came running from the opposite direction… and BASH! They came to a face to face clatter, both with an over-dramatic, teary-eyed look of shock and horror on their faces. There was a brief western-style standoff, both just staring at each other not knowing quite what to do. And then that moment, my proudest memory – my beautiful son grabbed the little girl he had never met before and gave her the biggest, sweetest hug, with a little pat on the back for good measure.

My heart was bursting with fulfilment and pride. In that one single moment, my little boy had shown compassion, kindness and love. And for me, in that short ten seconds of time, I knew that I had achieved exactly what I wanted.

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