My boys were three and four when I became a single-mother, and like many divorced women, I felt a new sense of empowerment and the urge to don a self-knitted pussy hat (even though those weren’t a thing yet.) At the top of my list of ways to help the world, was ensuring that my children did not grow up to be like their father. I immediately started working to support our little family. I also went back to school.
I braced myself as the 3:30 silence was shattered by the sound of thunder on the stairs followed by a ghastly thud. A door slammed so hard the parakeet’s teeth shook. This was Chris’ subtle way of announcing he was home from school. I knocked on his vibrating door. “Hi Chris, what are you up to?” No answer. “Chris, do you have some illicit substance in there?” “No.” “A girl?” “Aw, Ma.” “I know,” I said triumphantly, “You’re reading.” He
15 years ago, when my friends started getting pregnant, one asked me, “Mary, do you want kids?” My answer was “I’m so far away from it that I can’t even fathom fathoming it.” I didn’t feel comfortable around small children. They smelled different from adults and were unpredictable conversationalists. I didn’t melt at a child’s cuteness. I wasn’t charmed by their precious demeanor. I tried to spend as little time with them as possible. So, it may seem odd that
“You guys seem to have a great relationship,” observed a family member on Thanksgiving, “So, what’s the hold up?” “Hold up?” I asked with fake innocence, in-between my bites of sweet potatoes. Of course, I knew exactly what she means, but if she is going to get personal, I’m definitely going to make her spell it out. “Kids. You better get going soon,” she winked. My husband squeezes my shoulder in support. “Maybe in the future,” I smile in reply.