One woman’s adventures in single-parent adoption.

There’s little more that I love more than a party. The drinks. The chit-chat. The music. The connection. I once drove six hours to attend a shindig in Maryland. I had to make an event that my friends, Gary and Lauren, hosted with a whole roasted pig as their guest of honor.

On more than one occasion I guided my little mule of a Miata to New Hampshire to attend the art of openings of a friend, MJ, who is a great painter. During one trip, her surprise guests – “her two Italians” as she called them – required me to jump right into using my Italian skills after six hours behind the wheel. And I still found time to hit the spontaneous dance floor that opened up between MJ’s dining and living areas.

Over my twenty plus years as a free woman of the world, I’ve attended soirees in Paris and bashes in London. In my youth, I’ve attended house parties in Detroit  where decades later, I can still hear the thrum of The Ohio Players and Earth Wind and Fire. I’ve done New Years Eve in New York City at my own home, at the homes of folks whose names have now been lost to memory, and most memorably at the loft of my friends Heather and Todd,

If I didn’t attend a party, well I had a damn good reason. And if I had to make my excuses, it was mostly to myself. I hate missing a party. But on one fall, on a Saturday, I reached a new point with parties.

I just plain forgot.

After a sharing a dinner of broiled salmon, herb orzo, and garlic broccoli, with my daughter Julia – a totally entrancing act because to my amazement she actually ate the broccoli, savored the salmon, and nibbled the orzo, just as her pediatrician said my 28 -month-old would.

As I the cleared the table and contemplated our desert, Julia let me know she had other ideas.

“Show! Show!” she bellowed, her code word for the ”Baby Einstein” CDs she loves.

So I popped a disc in the player. Julia displayed her smile. And after a stream of baby faces and baby words – nose, le nazo, face, la cara, the disc played out her Spanish and English vocabulary – we headed into the last minutes of the performance: the number-one kiddie hit, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” filled the airJulia jumped to her feet. I followed.

It was during the second round of the hypnotic music track, in the midst of our living-room romp, that a wild thought popped into my head.

“Heather and Todd’s party!” Oh God, it’s tonight!

I forgot. I. Forgot.

This isn’t to say I am normally infallible. It was more a road sign, a marker that my life has changed in a profound way. Of course, I knew my life would change. However, it took a small thing, a small act of doing the toddler macarena in my living room (correction: in our living room) with my daughter, on the last of the warm Saturday nights, in the greatest city in the world, with a group of some of my closest friends gathered in downtown Manhattan having cool drinks and warm conversation, before I realized just how very much it had.

Photo by  Sai De Silva on Unsplash


Jenine Holmes is an award-winning advertising writer whose creative non-fiction has appeared in the Detroit New and New York Free Press. She is the author of The Single Baby Mama blog.

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