Why I Do What I Do

By: Crissie Miller Kirby

For the better part of four years, I have been a single parent. Many days, I feel like I have not done the absolute best job that I could or that I haven’t done anything memorable for them. There are days where we race to get ready in the mornings and we race to school, barely making it before the school bell rings in their day. Those mornings are usually punctuated with me begging the boys to hurry up, get their shoes on, get their teeth brushed, get their book bags, and, please, hurry up and get in the van. Those mornings leave me feeling a bit flustered all day.

This morning was one of those mornings.

We were racing to get to school early because the school was hosting Muffins for Mom (although after our morning at home, I felt less than worthy to receive a free muffin). I begged and pleaded. I yelled. I tried to impart the “you need to be more responsible” wisdom on the boys. Off we raced to the school, arriving in enough time for me and the boys to scarf down some juice, chocolate milk, and most of a muffin. They took our picture Fall Favoritesand I walked the boys to their classrooms. Our moods all improved and I paused in the hallway to look at their work outside of their respective classrooms. As I viewed Pierce’s, I had to stop, pull out my phone, and capture the image.

In that second grade handwriting that has become so familiar to me, were the following words: “Fall is fun because we go to the mountains to pick apples.”

For the last several years, come late September/early October, the boys and I have driven up towards Hendersonville, North Carolina and picked apples. My mom still can’t believe that I, often alone, load the boys in the van and drive over two hours, just to pick apples. To me, though, it isn’t to “just pick apples;” it is to make a memory that will stay with my children for a lifetime. But, often I wonder, “Will they really remember this? Is it really important to them or is it more important to me?”  I’ll admit that I think the answer to all of these questions is really, “yes.” It matters to them and to me, and they will remember it.

I found a saying on Pinterest that best embodies how I feel about making memories with my children:

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.” (Author unknown)

And I think it goes much farther than being physically present in their lives; I think it means to be physically, mentally, and emotionally present with and for them, and to do the things that maybe you aren’t so sure matter to them, because, often, in the end, it really does matter to them.

Whether it is a Sunday afternoon trip to North Carolina to pick apples or a Saturday afternoon riding through the long roads of the South Carolina Lowcountry to an out-of-the-way historical site, it matters. And they remember.

I see the smiles on their faces and the laughter coming from their bellies as they explore and learn without really even knowing that they are learning. I listen as they tell friends and teachers about this place that we went. I laugh as they try hard to remember the name of the site we visited and make up names because they can’t quite remember it. I marvel when they write about these memories in school, already, even at their young ages and I realize that I’ve made a difference in my children’s lives.  I am already in their memories.

And, that is why I do the things that I do.

100 Years From Now

One hundred years from now

It will not matter

What kind of car I drove,

What kind of house I lived in,

How much I had in my bank,

Nor what my clothes looked like.


One hundred years from now

It will not matter

What kind of school I attended,

What kind of typewriter I used,

How large or small my church,

But the world may be …

a little better because…

I was important in the life of a child.


(Author Unknown)

1 thought on “Why I Do What I Do

  1. Crissie, I SO enjoy reading your blog! You are such an inspiration to all single mothers, and you should be very proud of the job you’re doing. Pierce and Smith WILL remember all the things you are doing with them now, and those memories will stay with them throughout their lives. You are raising two wonderful little people that I know will make you very proud in the years to come. I cherish all the great memories of my Mom as she raised me and Judy by herself, especially after my grandparents passed, and it was just the three of us. I know that has to be SO hard when you do it alone. Keep up the good work, cause I really enjoy reading your blogs. I STILL say you really should write a book! You are THAT good!!!

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