2017-06-16 / Society

We are just fine

By Tammy Davis

Tammy Davis Tammy Davis Just. It’s just a word. A four-letter word. A word that has really been under my skin until recently.

I always felt like it was used when something was lacking. Every single time my daughter and I walk into a restaurant, the hostess says, “Just the two of you?” I think it’s a way of saying, “Is there a dad on the way? Is there a dad meeting you for dinner tonight?” I hate it when they do that.

If I’m on a date, the response is different, “Oh, right this way.” Nothing missing from the picture when it’s a man and a woman out for dinner.

If I’m out with friends, same thing. “Oh, how many? How fun! Right this way.” They never stop and ask “Just six tonight?” Again, that picture is complete. A group is okay; a couple is okay, but a mother and daughter seem off somehow. That bothers me.

Last year for my birthday, my daughter and I took a trip to New York City. It was a perfect, magical trip. One woman who doesn’t know me well seemed confused as she was listening to our tales of big adventure.

“Just the two of you? Just you and your daughter went to New York City?,” she kept asking. I added that my daughter took a friend. She continued.

“So just you and the girls? You took two little girls to New York City?” I knew what she was thinking. I took a trip without a man. She couldn’t wrap her head around that. I felt sorry for her for thinking that way, not sorry for myself because I was a single mom.

By this point in my life I have taken lots of trips as a single mom. And they have all been just right. Why in the world would I stop traveling just because I don’t have a husband? That just seems wrong.

Now that my son is older and out of the house, it’s usually just my daughter and me. We have learned to pack light. We can run up and down subway stairs carrying luggage like any other big city tourist. I love she is 13 and knows the route from the airport to our favorite hotel in midtown.

We are learning how to get things done alone, and that is just fine.

It’s taken some time, but I am learning to make peace with the word just. At first, I would think we were just fine. But, now I know we are more than that. We’re not just fine, we are just right. We are whole. We are happy. We are not just two. We are the perfect two, an awesome two.

Our picture of a family may look different when we walk into a restaurant or when we send out holiday cards, but that’s okay. We are a family. We are a perfect family. We are just right.

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