I am a single mother

As I carry numerous shopping bags from my car’s trunk, my energetic toddler darts around between parked vehicles. Spotting me, my neighbor acknowledges me with a nod from his rear patio, cigarette in hand.

Every week, even though he’s aware that I’m a single mother by choice raising a donor-conceived son without a partner at home, my neighbor observes me struggling to make my way inside. I resemble a tottering monument of motherhood, burdened with weighty bags and a clamoring child clinging to my legs. I respond with a cheerful smile and a greeting, but internally, my thoughts are a jumble of frustration: Why doesn’t he ever offer to lend a hand?

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