Respecting Single Mothers: My Mom, School Nurse/Great MomAlessandra Rizzotti

When my mother’s friend read my article about finding my father, her natural response was: “Where’s the article about your mother raising you all on her own?”  So, here is an article dedicated to my mother and all the single mothers out there…

Being a single mother is not the easiest job to have.  When I think about my four animals, cats Hunter, Max, Princess Bunny Buttons, and Maude the dog, I know I would have to give all but one of them up if I didn’t have my amazing boyfriend to walk, feed, and clean up their respective poops.  Of course, an animal is not the same as a human, and an animal never becomes a horrific teenager like most humans do.  I was never a rebel-rousing teenager myself because I had pimples, braces, got straight A’s and led a very sheltered life.  I should probably give all the credit to my mother for the fact I never landed in jail because she successfully raised me, for most of my life, as a single mother.

My First Steps

Over the years, I have come to realize that as difficult as my mom was for me to deal with, I too, am as equally difficult to understand because my emotions were as mind-boggling as my mother’s, and when you put two females in one house without a male counterpart to serve as the referee, hormones run wild and screaming matches become mental kickboxing routines.  I think that’s why my favorite movie growing up was Mermaids.  I actually thought I was Winona Ryder’s character (even though I was not a remorseful sexually active wanna-be Catholic).  And, although my mother wasn’t as much of a cougar flirt as Cher’s character in Mermaids, she definitely dated her fair share of weirdos.  One was a guy who had a tattoo of crystals on his wrist, drove a gold Corvette, smoked cigars, and composed modern electronic music.  Aside from that, my mother deserves utmost respect for making sure I never dated any weirdos myself.  I’m kidding.  I’ve dated so many weirdos.  But at least my mother screamed at me whenever I tried to marry them in my dreams.

What I Thought My Life Was Like Growing Up With a Single Mom: "Mermaids" (Image from Corruptela.com)

So, about my mother…

She told me not to reveal her name because she didn’t want to be Googled.  She also won’t tell me her age because she doesn’t want me or anyone else to think she’s an old lady.  As a school nurse, she has a lot of patience because she deals not only with kids that pee in their pants, get injured and have special needs, but also some “interesting” parents.  So, my mom is a rock.  She’s handled a lot of tough stuff.  She’s also a really good quilter, needlepointer and furniture restorer.   And, she volunteers her time at the Mormon Church’s genealogy research center (even though she is Jewish).  Plus, must I reiterate…she’s single.  Which means, she’s available.  And since I’m old enough to wipe my butt and balance my checkbook now, I’d appreciate if someone out there would date her so that she can stop nagging me and nag you!  (Just kidding, Mom.)

My Mom Made Me That Radical Dinosaur T-Shirt

Here are some examples of how my mom has been so great, regardless of her being single…

Number one:  When I had to go to the hospital at age three because my eyebrow ripped off while running around my mom’s iron bed-frame, my mom read to me that night and every night thereafter until I could go to sleep.  She actually read to me every day since I was four months old, and for that I am thankful because I am now literate and can read People magazine without getting too confused.

Number two:  My mom made sure I was involved in the arts.  I took painting, ballet, gymnastics, tennis, singing, and acting classes at a very young age.  Without these classes, I wouldn’t be the artsy weirdo I am today.  Of course, I sucked at tennis, so my mom found out early on not to send me to more classes involving sports.  I am personally thankful for that decision, as I am not a fan of any rigorous activity, unless we’re talking about rollerblading.

Ballet Class In My Gymnastics Unitard...

Number three:  My mom never let me hang out with the bad kids.  There was a filter on even the strange, cool kids, so I often only hung out with my mom on the weekends.  Maybe she was just being a little possessive over her daughter, but she took me to a lot of cool movies every Saturday AND let me eat Häagen-Dazs ice cream once a week, so hanging out with her had its perks.

Ice Cream Cake At One Of My Music-Themed Bdays

Number four:  My mom got me involved in child modeling and acting (but not in an annoying stage mother way) because she wanted to make sure I’d be able to go to college without taking out any loans.  And her plan was very successful.  I went to USC’s film school without having to pay any Sally, Freddie, or Fannie character whatsoever.  Plus, I had money left over to survive getting out of college without a job!

Posing with Fleetwood Mac in Rolling Stone Magazine (Left), Posing for Suzanne Nyerges (Right)

Number five:  My mom made sure I had a strong Jewish identity.  I went to an Orthodox Jewish preschool and Reform Hebrew Sunday school.  I even had my Bat Mitzvah on top of the Masada in Israel, which was a pretty spiritual ceremony.  However, we were never kosher Jews because my mom cooked bacon on Sundays and for that, I am thankful because it is now one of my favorite food groups.

My Bat Mitzvah On Top Of The Masada in Israel

Number six: My mom made me the coolest Halloween costumes.  Anything I wanted to be, my mom made my dreams come true with her sewing skills.  Case in point, I wanted to be a sunflower one year…

My Mom Made Me This Halloween Costume!

Number seven:  My mom made sure we traveled across Europe, Israel, Hawaii, and the East Coast, just to gain a better perspective of the world.  And, as a result, at least I can say I do not like Liechtenstein because I only remember being impressed by a self-cleaning toilet there, but I love the markets in Tel Aviv ; I don’t remember liking Honolulu because I noticed a lot of prostitutes walking around the main city, but I love the lush green fields of Vermont.  I could go on, but I shouldn’t be comparing any of these places or their attractions.

Travel With Mom Throughout The Years (Hawaii, Northern CA, East Coast, Western Europe)

Number eight: My mom taught me how to garden, and for this I am grateful because now I grow my own veggies, flowers,and cacti, as well as make terrariums.  And, growing a garden is like having your own bank, so my mother has given me a wealth of knowledge just by imparting her green thumb to me.

Sunflower My Mom and I Grew From a Seed!

Number nine: When I wanted to create outer-space to scale for my fifth grade space project, my mom let me do it with wire hangers and huge bouncy balls till I realized it was impossible to carry to school.  At least she let me discover that on my own.

Number ten: My mom, being a very creative individual, always encouraged me to pursue my dreams.  She will still say to this day that I should finish that novel I started in fifth grade about a young girl’s trials and tribulations on the Oregon Trail.  (Where has my motivation gone, Mom?)

I could keep numbering the reasons why my mom stands out among most mothers, but I could get up to number ninety-five thousand, so I’m just going to end on this.  My mom struggled to raise me financially for many years, but never said so and always provided for me, above and beyond her limitations.  She made sure that I had the best education and the most exposure to the arts.  She always protected me, and maybe overly so, but thank G-d, because I never broke any bones until much later in life.  And, when I did break my bones much later in life, she was there for me every step of the way.  I love my mom and I appreciate her, even though she sometimes thinks I don’t appreciate her enough.  (But here, Mom, I wrote you this, so you mean a lot to me).

Say Cheese for Cheesecake!

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  1. Becoming a single Mother has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Thank you for the dedication it feels like a thankless job at times and It is nice to see that hard work pays off.. :)

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  3. awww heart warming and all true! i see myself up there

  4. so sweet Alessandra!

  5. My Grandmother did most of that with 4 girls to raise.
    Thank God she did or my mom might not be the most awesome mom that she is :)

  6. LOVE this piece :) as a single mother, who was raised by a single mother- it’s really great to give and receive recognition :) -M

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