“Your mother took care of everything.” That’s what the girl in the sleek red spa t-shirt and black spandex capri pants said to me yesterday morning upon my arrival at the spa. She said it as if it were absolutely normal. Like it was a sentence a woman hears every day.
In my case, and in the case of many other women, having a ‘mother’ who took care of everything is but a fairytale idea, right up there with prince charming, and the tooth fairy.
For women who have been orphaned by their mother, either through death, separation or circumstance, the absence of a real mother figure can be a painful space that gets revisited time and again as we make our way through various rights of passage.
In my life I have been fortunate enough to find women who have been there for me. During childbirth, my mother-in-law and grandmother. Divorce – my aunt. Mothering my own child, I cherished and held tightly to the advice of my old-school family physician – trust your instinct, and don’t let anyone tell you any differently.
I parented fiercely, the only way I knew how. The only way that I knew how to show my child a mother’s love, and the lengths I would go to nurture and protect him. Something that I sadly lacked during my own youth and childhood, but had reinforced by the women that I have met and befriended.
So yesterday, as I turned my back to the woman at the counter, who was likely staring at my back, thinking, “Wow, that woman has a great mom.”, I thought to myself, “Yah. Yah, in fact I do have a great mom. The one that I was meant to find after so many years of feeling abandoned.”
If you were raised in an atmosphere that has made you turn inward, and lose trust in the women around you (I was raised to believe you didn’t get too close to other women because they’d steal your man), open yourself up to the possibility that older women are great teachers, and younger women are hungry for female mentors.
Our romantic relationships flounder, our bodies change, our desires and the things that make us happy morph with time. It has been the older, wiser women in my life who have helped me understand, not feel crazy, and enjoy this ride we call womanhood. The younger ones remind me of the spitfire I used to be, and make me wonder at the more subdued version of my younger self whom I have become.
Being a motherless daughter has its obvious drawbacks, but there are benefits too. You get to choose your mothers and form healthy bonds with strong, wise women who are more than willing to light the path.
Open yourself to the possibilities that are presented to you. I wish you all the joy of having incredible ‘mothers’!
Once upon a time there was a man. A very handsome, powerful, kinky man. And I wanted him. All the time. Even when I didn’t feel like moving or eating or breathing, the thought of him made my body feel like it was on fire. In a good sort of way, not like I’d caught some weird V.D. It was more like I was on a long, slow burn from the inside out, and his body was the only thing hot enough not to burn inside of it.
Everything about him turned me on. He was the only man I had ever met, EVER, who made me feel like a tongue-tied, fumbling little girl. Exhausted, and at my wit’s end, I would make time for him, steal moments to call, to email, to get my bikini line waxed and read up on foot fetishes, being submissive, and other wonders that took me away from single-parenthood and my work.
I didn’t see him often. Being unavailable was part of the charm that had me spellbound. He was a wizard of titillating anticipation always leaving me wanting more.
My friends, I am going to tell you a story of how disastrous a hunger like this can be for a mysterious, powerful, man. It’s not nearly as dangerous for a mother, because us moms have our priorities straight.
Way back when, I had turned the tables on my Mr.Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You, and had become somewhat aloof and unavailable. Truth be told, I was beginning to realize that no, I would not change this power-hungry man. Instead, I would just keep getting more and more hurt by his lavish love-making, and cruel absences.
My aversion made him even more determined to have me fall head over heels for me. In his quest for being craved, he made plans with me for a Saturday evening. Curious to know what his motives were, and hankering for a thorough and proper….evening, I arranged to get a sitter, and have him over for a few hours. I never arranged for a sitter. But this, him, the thought of being lost in his wild fantasies for a couple of hours was too much to resist.
The day before he was supposed to come over, I came down with a wicked cold-fever and all. I called to let him know that I was not well, and that I didn’t think seeing one another would be a good idea. To my utter surprise, he said, “ Let me come over and take care of you.”
What? Was this really happening? Was this finally turning into something special? Was my Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You turning into Mr.I-Can’-Live-Without-You? Wow. Another shining example of why, at any moment, a single-gal’s bikini line should be immaculately groomed.
After I got my kiddy packed up for a few hours with his great auntie, I came back home. My kiddy was psyched for a few hours of play time, and for the very first time since I’d met Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You, I was excited in a relaxed way to see the number one guy on my man-list.
I slipped into some jeans and a cozy sweater. It was a far cry from the high heels, garters, and wicked lingerie that usually made it’s way to his fingertips. He was coming over to take care of me after all, and it was time, so it seemed, to let my guard down and be taken care of.
He called on his way, and asked what he could bring me. Not knowing the first thing about being taken care of, I said that I didn’t’ need anything. He arrived at my door with my favourite tea latte, and a stack of magazines and books that he bought, hoping that I might like some of them. A girl could get used to this.
With my stuffy nose, and jitters from my feverish chills, we snuggled up together on my duvet, and set about the business of cuddling, reading, and tea-sipping. This was the tenderness that I imagined couples indulged in nightly. I have such a good imagination don’t I ladies?
After a few minutes into the snuggling, he softly kiss my parched lips, taking my chin in his large, strong hands. Surely to God this must be love, I thought, hoping that he wouldn’t take too long, because I couldn’t breathe out of my nose. I was snotty, and fevered, and he was kissing me! Yay! Triumph!
During round two of the tender, I-need-to-kiss-my-sweet-baby-girl-to-make-her-feel-better, the phone rang. Now, any mother knows that when your kid is away, you jump at the sound of the phone ringing.
Who else could it be? All of my friends knew what was happening at my place, and wouldn’t dare call and interrupt.They would be far too busy crossing their fingers, chanting ancient incantations, and praying I didn’t say anything stupid and ruin it.
Nope the phone ringing could only mean one thing. My baby needed me.
I picked up the phone, “What’s wrong?” I panicked as I heard my son’s crying in the background.
“Something is wrong with the kiddy, he’s burning up.” I could hear the panic in my aunt’s voice.
“I’ll be right there. Put a cold cloth on his head and make sure he’s not covered up.”
In an instant I turned from women-to-be-delicately-cared-for to scorpio-mom-on-a-mission. “Get up and get in the car!” I yelled at Mr.Childless-What-The-Hell-Just-Happened.
“I’ll just go home and let you do what you need to do,” he said, getting up and heading for the door.
“Get in the god-damned car. I might need to hold him and you need to drive.”
He knew by the sound of my voice that there wasn’t a choice. I would tear his testicles off with one swipe if he disobeyed. Within a moment we were in my car, and racing down the city street to get to the most important guy in the world.
Mr.Childless-What-The-Hell-Just-Happened was tall. Very tall. Like over 6’4” tall. In his shock, and hurry not to lose his life to my mother-rage, he had stuffed himself in the front passenger’s side of the car, and hadn’t thought to move the seat back. With his knees touching his ears, he looked like someone had abducted him at gunpoint. This was not the evening of manly caring for his little woman that we’d agreed to.
At my auntie’s home, I ran in, scooped up my kiddy and fastened him, his snotty nose, and screaming, fevered self into the car seat, and made a bee-line home.
At home, I stripped him down to nothing. “Ah, is there anything I can help you with, or should I just go now?” my servile sexy man asked nervously, still in his shoes at the front door.
His tone was obviously pleading, and although I knew he was out of his depth, I looked at him disgustedly, thinking, “You testicle-deficient coward. Of course I need you! I’ve got a sick, screaming kid and you’re just standing there like a dork.”
“Run a cool bath,” I said, as I took my baby’s temperature. 103.5. He needed a dose of acetaminophen and cool bath to bring this temp down. My wee little kiddy walked to the bathroom, shivering from the cold he felt from being so fevered. His crying had subsided with some cuddles, knowing that mommy was going to take care of him.
Mr. I-Will-Never-Ever-Date-A-Woman-With-Children was so keyed up, that when he tried to turn the water on in the tub, he pulled the cold water off. OFF. Like, totally off the wall.
When I walked in the bathroom, my sexy man was standing there with the cold water knob in his hand, and my wonderful kiddy in his fevered state was taking a wiz on Mr.Wonderful’s designer pant leg.
This night had turned into more entertainment than I had bargained for.
“I think you should just go home,” I said, taking the knob from my man’s hand and screwing it back into place. I didn’t follow him out, instead I helped my wee little kiddy into the tub, and washed his little body down until I could feel that he was cooler to the touch. I didn’t’ even hear the door shut.
I dried my kiddy off, got him in some light jammies, and tucked him in beside me, moving the swath of books and magazines that my Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You had brought for me to make me feel better.
With my little bruiser snoring quietly in my arms, two tea cups sat cold on the night table. Although I knew that the chance for the night we had planned would never happen again, looking down at my child, I could have cared less. Dozing off with my babe in arms, I giggled out loud at the sight of my little one peeing on that man’s legs. And the world was good.