Only parent, only child: An ode to our small family [Washington Post]

by | Jan 23, 2020 | 23 comments

JAC

January 23, 2020

23 Comments

  1. Michelle Andrews

    Thank you for touching my heart… My 12 year old son and I share so much of your journey. His dad passed away suddenly when we were just 9 weeks pregnant and dreams of our family of 6 quickly became a family of 2. I’ve found it a lonely road and loved reading your story… thank you for sharing! ❤💕

    Reply
    • JAC

      Thank you, Michelle. What a long journey you’ve had on your own, and yet-you are not alone. God bless you both!

      Reply
  2. Deborah Bellingham

    BEAUTIFUL.

    Reply
    • JAC

      Thanks, Debbie.

      Reply
  3. Mike

    Such a heartwarming article. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • JAC

      Thank you.

      Reply
  4. Christina

    So lovely in all its simple, deep and unique ways! Thank you Julia for sharing your life with us

    Reply
  5. AMD

    As a single mom with 1 child who never dreamt this would be my journey, I recognized that feeling of want. Wanting a partner, wanting the big noisy family, wanting to capture a moment, wanting desperately to never leave my child alone. thank you.

    Reply
    • JAC

      Thanks for reading and sharing. I’m so glad it resonated.

      Reply
  6. John

    Your article got shared with me by another widow. My wife died less than a day after she gave birth to our daughter, our first. So your article resonated with me as you’ve expressed some of the fears that I have now that I think my family of two will experience in the future especially the part about how there is only two of us to keep our family story. In addition, I feel the added pressure of being the sole bearer of the love story between my wife and I to share with our daughter. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • JAC

      It is a lot to bear and mostly hidden and unspoken. I’m sorry for your loss.

      Reply
  7. DAISY R JOHNSON

    I just read your piece in the Washington Post. You got me with the first sentence “I didn’t become a member of a small family by choice. My husband died when my daughter was almost 2, and we became a family of two.” It literally took my breath away. My daughter is 7, and my husband died when she was just 5 months old. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you and your princess much happiness and peace. And, if you’re ever in the Washington DC area, I’ll buy you coffee (or mimosas) and cupcakes for the girls (who am I kidding, I want cupcakes for us too!)

    Daisy

    Reply
    • JAC

      Thank you Daisy! I am sorry for your loss. I hope it helps to know you’re not alone. Cupcakes sound good! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Helen Green

    I was you but thru divorce – very different for sure but I agonized about my son not having more family. Agonized is the word. When he was 9 I remarried and had two more children. It was my dream come true. When he was 40 and those two and he were best friends I told him he was the main reason I’d had more children. He was shocked and said “Ma, I was perfectly happy! I was good. Like having them, did miss the one on one, would have been fine either way!” I could see it was true.

    Reply
    • JAC

      Thanks for sharing…I’m sure we do put a lot more pressure on ourselves than necessary.

      Reply
  9. Sherry

    I read your article in the Washington Post. It was if you were writing about us! My son was 3 when my husband died seven years ago. It’s very isolating because people don’t understand what your life is like, especially when they are very young. But, it wonderful, too. I have this amazing relationship with him because it has been just us. Thank you for your words. They describe it perfectly. I would also love to take you out for coffee and cupcakes in North Carolina if you find yourself here.

    Reply
    • JAC

      You’re right- it really is isolating. I’m so glad so many people are able to recognize themselves here and we all can realize we’re not alone. I’ll keep the cupcake offer in mind!

      Reply
  10. Drea

    My sister shared your words with me. Thank you for telling your story and helping me feel more seen and known in the telling. My darling is 12 now, and while her father is living, he is far away and always has been. She and I have entered the Gilmore Girls’ “perfectly scripted banter” season and it is filling in so many of the “spare and deep” places with a wondrous healing power. Still, I leave the kitchen lights on. Thank you, Julia. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply
    • JAC

      Thanks for reading and for that highest of complements to a writer and the reason I write- to feel more seen and known and to help others feel more seen and known.

      Reply
  11. Sunday

    Beautiful article in the WP online today. Just beautiful. I almost didn’t read it, because I am not that into parent/child articles. So glad I didn’t miss it.

    Reply
    • JAC

      Thanks so much…not that into those kinds of articles myself. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Debbie D.

    Thank you for sharing Julia. You’re an amazing mom and the bond you have with your daughter is absolutely beautiful! Be hopeful for the future. Sending hugs!
    Faith, Hope and Love

    Reply
    • JAC

      Love to you Debbie! I’ve been thinking of you since the 21st.

      Reply

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