By Jing Lejano

The other week, I had dinner at my friend Janice’s house. I’ve known Janice and her husband Gary for years. And I’ve always looked up at them as an ideal couple. They not only love each other to bits, they also work very well together.

Janice and I were at the living area talking when Gary said an inviting “Kain na.” When nobody seemed to pay him any attention, he barked a more commanding “Kain na!” And, as if on reflex, I stood up straight and realized that there was a man in the house. It was kind of disconcerting.

I’ve been a single parent for years and years now. There is no man in my house. I’m the boss of the house. I spend time with my kids and take care of them when they get sick. I pay the bills and run the household. If something needs to be done–paint the walls, change the light bulb, tile the bathroom floor, whatever–I do it. If I can’t do it, I pay someone else to do it for me.

I admit that it’s not the most ideal of situations but I make the best of it because I have to. I just have to.

Sometimes, I feel guilty about the whole thing. When they were younger, I noticed how my boys got so easily attached to my sisters’ boyfriends. I knew they were just hungry for a father figure, and unfortunately, that’s something I couldn’t order online.

But when I see my boys today, taking care of their niece Sophie, going out with their barkada, laughing at reruns of How I Met Your Mother, washing the dishes no matter how reluctantly, and occasionally, fighting over the computer, I tell myself, “We’re doing fine.”

Photo by Aswin on Unsplash

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