Me: I wish I could volunteer my time but I’m the only one paying the mortgage and many months I wonder how I manage to do that, dropping her off and picking her up from kindergarten and then applying make-up at stoplights or in the parking garage five minutes before work starts, hoping the driver’s side window motor of my decade-old Nissan Versa doesn’t die this winter, making tacos after swim class or ninja kids or play therapy because that is a meal she loves and will eat, washing the dishes after she goes to bed, packing her lunch and writing little notes she cannot yet read and hoping one day she’ll remember a happy childhood despite the divorce, trimming her tiny nails without cutting the quick and showing her how to use the little whale brush to scrub away the grime of play and adventure, emailing her father invoices of expenses we agreed to in legal documents and not holding my breath when he is late or needs reminding. This life, despite its challenges, is my choice. I prefer to be a single mom if it means I give her a home where she doesn’t have to walk on eggshells or think love is begging someone to care I’d be happy to donate snacks or materials.
Michaella Thornton’s writing often explores levity, lust, and letting go. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fractured Lit, Hobart After Dark, (mac)ro(mic), New South, Reckon Review, Southeast Review, among other fine publications. This year, her flash creative nonfiction has been nominated for Best of the Net, and last year (2021), her prose was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Microfiction. You can find her procrastinating and dreaming @kellathornton [Twitter] or read more of her work at https://www.michaellathornton.com/.