Utah mom Whitney Kittrell said her heart sank when her kindergartner came home from school with a flier for a "Dads and Doughnuts" event at his elementary school.
"My heart (kind of) sank," she wrote in a Facebook post detailing her experience. "When I became a single mom over 3 years ago I made a promise with myself that I would do anything I could, even if it meant going out of my comfort zone, to give my kids a 'normal' life and the same experiences as other kids."
As a single parent filling the roles of mother and father, she said she's taught her son how to play catch, how to kill bugs "with minimal screaming" and has created countless memories.
"Being a single parent, or any parent for that matter, is a hard job," she told KUTV. "We are all doing the best we can."
She said she sat her son down and asked whether she would prefer that his grandfather take him to the event Tuesday at Arrowhead Elementary School in Santa Clara, KUTV reported.
"He just smiled and said, 'No. I want you to go. You're my mom and dad,'" Kittrell wrote on Facebook.
She awakened Tuesday morning, donned her "best dad outfit," drew a goatee on her face and took her son to "Dads and Doughnuts."
When I became a single mom over 3 years ago I made a promise with myself that I would do anything I could, even if it...
"I was so embarrassed, but I couldn't help but smile when he introduced me to his little friends saying, 'This is my mom... She's my dad too, so I brought her,'" she wrote. "When I went to leave, he ran after me and hugged me tight around my neck and whispered, 'Mom, I know that you'll always be there and do anything for me. Thank you. I love you.' (He) kissed my cheek and ran off."
She told KUTV that her outfit garnered a few strange looks and giggles from the children, but no one said anything to her about being at the event. Her son later said he was teased by classmates because of his mom's outfit, but, she told the news station, "He said he told them that his daddy decided not to see him anymore, so… his mom is
his dad now too."
"I've tried my best to let (my kids) know they are loved, but I wonder a lot if I'm actually succeeding at it," she wrote on Facebook. "I hope he remembers this day (because) I'll never forget it or his sweet words."