Today is my baby girl’s tenth birthday. Essentially, I have no more babies, which is totally strange to me. With each year comes a new set of concerns and responsibilities for me as a parent. They have stronger personalities, more concrete opinions, and even new sensitivities. (I remember my own puberty, when breaking into tears at previously harmless jokes told by my parents was the order of the day.) It also means having to occasionally deal with difficult questions: that includes being on the delivering AND receiving end. Last night’s cannonball was fired by her:
Mommy, are you trying to be a nun? Then why don’t you get married?
On another day, that would have gotten me all up in my feelings. I’m not always loving the single life. Frankly, I’m not always loving my life. These streets can be rough on a girl. There are days when I feel like Atlas, and there’s some fool that keeps punching the back of my knees. (Yes, this makes sense.) Even though my kids are of age to take certain responsibilities, I still want them to have a certain carefree nature that comes with being kids. So this requires me to be Atlas, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Elastagirl. In my down time, I get to play Medusa, but we won’t harp on that.
Suffice it to say, a partner would be lovely. Not just to “help me carry the weight,” but just to shoot the shit, watch movies and play Scrabble. Not this new age Scrabble, where you can be in Boston and your partner can be in Bahrain. I mean real in your face Scrabble. Break out the paperback dictionary, turn up your lips, “that ain’t even much a word, yo” Scrabble.
But, I’m a mom. I’m past the notion of hiding behind my kids because I’m afraid of relationships. (I have.) I’m past feeling the need to do everything. (On the cool, I can, but that doesn’t mean I SHOULD.) I don’t even believe that their happiness trumps all, but it is a weighty portion of the equation. They want me to be married. They want another little brother or sister. They want a cool dude around to balance my womanly craziness. I’ll even be daring and opine that somewhere in all of this, they even give consideration to my own happiness in having a partner. I just happen to know that forming and maintaining relationships just doesn’t happen to be easy. I can deal with stealth breakups. I have a habit of ending things before they even start, and my kids are none the wiser. I’m loathe to even have conversations with men that are romantic interests around my kids unless we are actually “going somewhere.” That way, should things end, there’s nothing to explain. I’m not crazy about the idea of people disappearing from their lives. I’m not searching for perfect, but healthy and stable is non-negotiable.
But I’m also not blocking myself. I’m getting out more, meeting more people, and I have my eye on a hottie (or two…a girl needs options). I’m not searching for a relationship. I enjoy my autonomy and desire companionship in equal measure. I’m praying that when the right person comes around, I’ll be smart enough to happily tip the scale in his favor.
So, don’t work on your rendition of “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Melanie” just yet. I’d be a shitty nun.