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Casey Anthony Trial: Being A Parent Is About Sacrifice

Welcome back from the long Fourth of July weekend. I hope you all had as much fun as JD and I did. Our weekend kicked off on Friday. I invited my single mom friend, Mareesa and her son Cristiano over to swim at our condo. We had a pizza picnic for lunch and played in the pool for three hours. Between dips the boys raced trucks and cars on the patio and Mareesa and I told them to stop running 40 times iii-yiii-iii. Next, we came inside and the boys played with the train table while the moms had a cold corona each. An hour later we took our boys out for steak and ice cream. JD was bathed and passed out by 8 P.M. and I was alone to fold laundry, write out monthly bills and pack for our weekend trip to Uncle Carlo’s condo at Bradley Beach. Needless to say, Friday night hasn't equaled party in nearly 4 years. Sometimes I miss it. But I always have my eye on the prize -- JD.

We hit major traffic on the way down and played multiple rounds of I Spy, ate pretzel shaped cars, sang songs, counted to 25, decided clouds looked like hot dogs and space ships and whales. At times our Jeep was at a standstill and the windows were down. Young 20-somethings were in cars all around us, blasting music and laughing. I smiled—been there and done that many, many times. Single motherhood may be overwhelming sometimes, but I never feel cheated out of a life. I went to my prom. I graduated college. Went on Spring Break to Cancun (3x). Partied. Dated. Loved. Lost. Traveled to Europe and other places. Landed a job -- now a career I love. I have plenty of living left to do and joked to Carlo when JD is 18 and heads to college I’m Eat-Pray-Loving it…hahahaha

When we got to my brother’s, JD was starving for lunch (of course), so I made him a turkey sandwich and finished his leftovers for my lunch, because I wanted to get on the beach and relax. After setting up shop: Blanket, chairs, cooler, towels, umbrella, JD dumped 20 sand toys out and asked me to build a castle with him. I had just plopped down in my chair and was admittedly tired after the long, stop-and-go drive. Relax? Hmmm, nope. I looked at his eager face and took him down to the water and we made a drip-drop castle. Then collected seashells in a bucket and finally played in the park that sits on the boardwalk overlooking the ocean. We ate dinner at Vic’s, took a walk, listened to a summer concert, got cookies at the bakery and went home. To sleep. Everyone went to sleep by 9:30 P.M.

The next day it rained on and off, so I took JD to the aquarium and on some boardwalk rides in between the misty showers. When we got home, he was exhausted and completely melted down. I calmed him down, gave him some milk and he fell asleep with his head on my lap. I put my feet up.

I turned on HLN to watch the Casey Anthony trial and news—as you all know now, bombshell, she was found NOT guilty and will be sentenced to time served -- meaning she is going to walk free. However, the prosecutor’s closing argument really stayed with me. Prosecutor Ashton said: “It’s easy to be a parent around children, when children do what you want and children are fun, but we all know being a parent is so much more than just playing with children. Being a parent is about sacrifice, being a parent is about sacrificing your time, being a parent is about sacrificing your love... your dreams… and your life. When you have a child, that child becomes your life.”

I looked down at my sleeping child and felt his breath on my leg. I looked at the sliding glass door that was dripping with rain. Thought about summers past. Maybe playing a card game and drinking beers in the rain, ha. Oddly enough, this closing argument about a case I followed for three years, in that very moment, wasn’t about Tot Mom Monster, Casey Anthony. It was about the mother I am. And the father, my ex is not. “Being a parent is about sacrifice, being a parent is about sacrificing your time, being a parent is about sacrificing your love... your dreams… and your life. When you have a child, that child becomes your life.”

And this is something I was ready to do at 26-years-old, as unplanned as it was. Nearly 4 years later, it is still something my ex can't do. JD is my life. I have sacrificed a lot (I was not able to run off, rekindle with an ex, get married and have a child in that very neat order.)  I left a city I loved, because it didn’t make sense to raise my child in such an expensive place, with no family help nearby. I moved three times total. I turned a full-time, steady job with benefits at a magazine into a risky freelance career that allows me to work from home (alone), but in an attempt to be with my son in his young years. Dating is hard. I try to, but like I said, I’ve been parenting solo since I was 11-weeks pregnant. I’m JD’s mom first and I want to be. This is where I want to be. Now, with all of my sacrifices, I can tell you, Prosecutor Ashton and my lovely readers, I have not given up on any dreams or stopped dreaming. JD is a dream come true, really. JD is a force that pushes me to be better…Our dreams are one.

JD and me on the beach this weekend.

Discuss the verdict...go.

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