A Single Parent


I am in my late 20s, a family is on the horizon, and I am realizing what it will take to have a child.
by Christopher Confero   Photography by Chuck St. John

Every month, I want to share with you different parts of my life—how I’ve evolved to the person I am and how I use my experiences to make my celebrations meaningful and memorable. As a man, writing for the women’s issue has been a bit of a challenge. I spent days pondering what I could share that would give a voice on what it means to be parent from my point of view.

As a child I was surrounded by many strong women all the time; my grandmother Doris, mother Deborah and my aunt Donna who was more like a sister to me. I remember the hard work and sacrifice they gave to ensure I was happy and taken care of. My needs were always met and I was always safe. It makes me think of when you’re riding in a car with mom and she slams on the breaks and the arm bolts out to hold you still. Maternal instincts, they call it. I feel that is a mother’s natural instinct every day, but most people don’t take notice. There are many things that go unseen, but that play a vital role in a child’s upbringing. In adolescence we do not note the countless hours of care our parents pour into our lives. Once we’ve matured we then understand the depth of love we were blessed to have received.

For me personally, I’ve always wanted children. More specifically two sons who I have even had names for years, Cooper Van Everett and Charles Mark. Now that I’m in my late 20s and having my family is on the horizon, I am realizing the preparation and dedication it’s going to take to be a parent—from deciding if I want to adopt or go with a surrogate to pondering on how I’ll balance my work life and being a single dad. How can I make it to all of those soccer games on Saturday afternoons and still properly manage my design firm when most of our weddings are happening at that same time? I know it won’t be easy, and it’ll take some strategic planning, but it will be worth it. There are countless single parents who do it every day and that reassures me that it’s possible. I tip my hat to you.

To give life to my words this month, I want to share with you some sweet details that I’ve put together. My friend Krystal’s sweet son Sully turned 2 recently, so what a reason to celebrate! All of my inspiration came from the adorable shirt Krystal found for the little guy to wear to his party. It was bold, bright and colorful. I always tell my clients that inspiration can come from anywhere and in this case we took all of our cues from the shirt. A theme doesn’t have to be overstated. A color scheme can be simple enough to give the continuity needed to provide a unifying theme. But as you are planning the details, remember to really drive it home. Use the colors, patterns, fonts or artwork on every element. These bold and graphic invitations here are by the talented Amberly Shelton. The simple, yet playful cake by Gia’s Bakery Boutique is as tasty as it is eye catching.

When you look back at photos of these milestones, you want to the details to tell a complete story. So be mindful as you plan and prepare each birthday party. Put in a little extra effort. You aren’t just counting the years go by, you’re making memories.

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