On Miraculous Things

by mssinglemama on May 7, 2010

Our relationship has moved onto the next plateau and John Bear, by his own will, has decided to take on the daunting task of disciplining Benjamin.

Having long ago earned Benjamin’s love, John is now earning his respect. And having recently decided that this is, indeed, what I want I have learned to step back and let John do his thing.

Witnessing this all unfold has been nothing short of miraculous. The only thing I can compare it to is the first time I saw a mountain. I was 14 and crammed into the back of our mini van with one brother, another and a sister. We had been driving for two weeks, stopping every night to camp, packing up the next morning and then pressing on for Montana.

Your typical teenager, I thought I knew everything, but the mountains and their dominance were about to prove me wrong.

When we finally made it to Glacier National Park Dad pulled over into the first look out point he could find. We had seen them through the windows but this was different. Standing in their shadows the mountains suddenly came to life, commanding the Earth and owning everything around them. They quieted my racing mind and all I could do was stare in complete awe.

Which is exactly where I find myself when John is disciplining Benjamin; bringing in fresh energy and an endless supply of love – for both of us. Our little family, I now believe with absolute certainty, was meant to be.  We just had to wait for the right time, the right reasons and to be sure.

During that week at Glacier we spent our days hiking or moose chasing and our nights waiting for shooting stars. My father would lie there with us on the picnic tables. We would wait, our backs pressing into the wood and our hands across our chests until we saw one.

“There’s one!”

Someone would shout.

“There’s another!”

“And another. Right there! Did you see that? There were two in a row.”

“Isn’t that amazing?” he would ask, “We can see the stars falling, all the way from here.”

He’s been gone for 11 years now. If only he could meet John. Maybe he has. John does have Dad’s middle name – Raymond.

Maybe he is here, guiding Benjamin and John along… pushing them toward the mountains, helping them to see the stars – making all of this feel so right. I have also come to realize in these years that my father was my mountain, making me believe in fatherhood, in the love a man can give to his family.

Without my father and without his memory, I wouldn’t have the faith to believe that I just may have found the same thing for his grandson.

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Co-parenting & discipline. A surprising delight. | Ms. Single Mama
June 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristy May 7, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I always read, yet I’m always silent. I had to stop and tell you that my husband has the same first and middle name and same last initial as my own deceased father. I have long felt that it was not coincidence. I had mentioned to a friend while going through hard times prior to meeting my husband, “If my father was here, this would all be so different”. And then my husband arrived (of course in the form of a boyfriend first) and things were different.

My father would have loved my husband…..just as your’s would have loved John Bear.


anon May 8, 2010 at 12:32 am

This post really moved me. My dad never did approve of my first husband, my baby’s deadbeat daddy. No matter how much I’ve struggled with issues with my immediate family through my life in the end they usually do know what’s best for me.


Stac May 8, 2010 at 8:18 am

Here here! I second that.


Stac May 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

My dad (the man who raised me) married my mother when I was 8 and adopted me as his own when I was 8. He’s been instrumental in getting me through this week. My son’s father has decided he’s not coming around anymore.


arscuore May 8, 2010 at 10:25 am

Beautiful post. Made me cry. “my father was my mountain, making me believe in fatherhood, in the love a man can give to his family” — I think reflecting on my own wonderful childhood (and what a dad could be) helped me leave my marriage. And now I’ve found someone who treats my son like his own, has patience with him, teaches him things, WANTS to spend time with him, loves him, and yes, disciplines him from time to time. I would never tell my son that he was a major reason for our divorce, but so many times we will do for our kids what we won’t do for ourselves, and that was the case in this decision. And now both of our lives are a hundred-fold better.


SaucyB May 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Your posts are always so well written and go way beneath the surface. Another engaging read.


Maya May 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I’ve just recently stumbled into this blog and I’m hooked. I look forward to reading new post (or old ones) regularly. Thanks for having this mssinglemama.

Sorry you lost your father before he was able to meet your son. He sounded like quite a dad and would have made an equally great a granddad. I lost my father about 10 years ago too and although we were not very close, for the sake of my 3 year old son, I wished he had a granddad that he could look up to.

Male role models are non-existent in my family. My son does not have a “daddy” or uncles to speak off. I’ve been told my son will find other male role models, i.e. friends, coaches, teachers etc., that’s fine, so I’m hoping. But it would be nice if he had someone he could grow up with, someone to protect him, teach him, and advise him with “guy things.” I realize there are no guarantees in life and even family members can break his heart. But one would hope that at least family would be bound to want what is best for him.

I’m happy for you, Benjamin and John Bear that you found each other. He sounds like he is up for the task of being a good “partner” and “dad”. I hope it all works out for all of you. So here is to hoping.


Tami May 8, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Well, now that’s just not fair… you had no warning that this post would be so moving! LOL jk, I know it is “read at your own risk”. I think in this post you have said what so many of us have thought at one time or another, that our fathers have given us faith that those type of men do exist. And that “that man” will be waiting for us around a corner we turn one day. I have been reading you for a while now but like so many, have not posted. Thanks for being here. (btw, I received my new leaf bracelet today- JUST in time for Mother’s Day- it makes me feel beautiful, thank you!)


Maya May 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I ordered your antiqued necklace and your book. I’m eagerly waiting and chekcing my mailbox. I can’t wait!!

BTW I tried to join as a member but never received a password. I tried it twice. Maybe I did something wrong…help?



Ms. Single Mama May 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm

On the forum you mean? I see you posted a comment there – did you get in? And I will be sending out the most recently ordered new leaf necklaces tomorrow so should be there soon. Thank you Maya!



Maya May 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Yes I got in thank you. The email with password was intercepted by my spam blocker.



Ms. Single Mama May 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Just wanted to say Happy Mother’s Day to everyone… thank you so much for these beautiful comments, for reading and for becoming a part of our lives.




nikki May 9, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Great post. I love how you remember your father through John’s actions I have to say though I hope John has made it clear to Benjamin and you that he will be in your life forever and love you guys forever because anyone short of that type of commitment shouldn’t discipline him. My brother and brother in law are amazing step fathers and they stayed out of disciplining for the most part. Their step children knew that they were there for them, knew that they didn’t respect nonsense, and that they supported their mothers decisions overall. It was probably a bit different then wit Benjamin because the children were older when the relationships evolved and older children really will give you a much harder time in accepting an authority figure. I am i awe of John and would love such a person in my life at the right time, when discipline comes from love and permanence it feels right and maybe that is what you are feeling now as opposed to a few months back–you guys have evolved. It is wonderful to partake in your story. Keep writing.


Ms. Single Mama May 9, 2010 at 8:49 pm

You’re jumping ahead Nikki. But very thoughtful comment. Something to point out… this was a decision we made after everything “fell into place”. More later. Stay tuned. ; )


Cheryl May 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Wow Alaina… this was AWESOME. Thank you, once again, from the bottom of my single mama heart, for being such an inspiration. XOXO’s


SteveRenno May 25, 2010 at 11:34 am

Great posts!! I am dating a wonderful woman that has been a single mother for quite some time and I am going to pass this blog on to her. Thanks for the wonderful writing.


Jessie Italroz December 6, 2012 at 4:12 am

Hmmm..Happy that you found that kind of person this time Ms. Single Mama. It was such a great coincidence indeed. God bless!


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