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This week I have a taste of solo parenting, and naturally after two days I’m quite aware that I pale greatly in comparison to Ellen’s other father whom Ellen and I miss Ellen and Patgreatly!

Thank goodness for Ellen’s many aunties and uncles, like the wonderful friend shown in this picture with Ellen, who are helping out. It really does take a village. I was lucky to grow up in a very large family with the best aunts, great-aunts, uncles and many others around. (When your maternal grandfather alone was one of 16 children, your family really does become a village.) Here in Hawaii, aunties and uncles may not be related by blood, but they sure take on the roles my relatives did when I was young.

I could go on forever about what I could do better as a parent, and what my husband does with the most natural ease. I will only say that he sings better, has more patience playing all kinds of games, engages Ellen on all kinds of levels where I feel like a rookie! I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. Part of my message to self was to be more like my husband, the best dad I’ve ever met. Fortunately, children are forgiving. Where Ellen last night let her frustration be known that I was not climbing into bed with her at 7:15, nor had sung enough bedtime songs, she embraced me fully this morning. What a relief!

This week has also been humbling in that I know there are plenty of single parents around who do a fabulous job with their children day in and day out, many of whom do not have the advantages our family does. I salute all of you!