Younger Men

P (age 5): “How old is Grammy?”

Me: “74”

P: “How old is Grandpop?”

Me: “73”

P: “Grammy is bigger than Grandpop?!”

G (age 7, know it all): They love each other. That’s all that matters.

We’re talking 6 months here, people.

younger men

What is it with little girls (especially) desiring that the man in a relationship should be older? Why is that such a big deal?  Are little boys obsessed with this as well?

I’m sure, as a child, I probably assumed that men should be older than the women they married, but I don’t think I lost much sleep over it. In fact, I think I married a younger man (my ex-husband didn’t have a birth certificate, so we really don’t know – really long story about being born in a village.) If I had any age difference issues I suppose I got over them.

All my life I have preferred older men, yet, here in my forties, I think I would be cool with a younger man, if that were meant to be. Not too young, mind you, I have no desire to be with a man who has a significantly smaller amount of life experience than me; that’s bound to turn out bad.

But a little bit younger wouldn’t be too bad – I’d just make sure not to mention his age to my kids…

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10 Things I Don’t Say

I recently read an interesting blog article,

10 th

You can find the original article here. I found it thought provoking, mainly because my own experience is much different from the author’s.

(Spoiler: It’s never crossed my mind to say (or think) most of these – fear of judgment or not.)

1. “Your words hurt.” I have never experienced a person saying something to me in regard to my single parent state that was intentionally mean or hurtful. I have been saddened and hurt by words, but the intention behind the words was never hurtful. Words that hurt, hurt because they touch an open wound. A “Daddy-Daughter Dance” is a lovely thing, but when your daughter doesn’t have a Daddy to attend with, those words hurt, even though the words themselves were never ever intended for that purpose.

2. “We will freak out if you ever refer to our kids as ‘baggage.’”   No one has ever referred to my children as “baggage.” Ever. People really say that to single parents?

However, I do agree with the dating piece of the author’s point, and I would/will say this. Don’t date me if you are unsure of the “whole kids thing. Just. Don’t.

3. “We’re not rich.” Ha! I doubt that anyone even assumes that we are. And I do not receive child support.

4. “There will always be some “drama” with our kid’s other parent, if they’re around.” My children’s other parent is not around, so our drama level is way low.

5. “We feel isolated and lonely.” This is a hard one. Yes, absolutely, Single Moms are in a world of their own. I agree that connecting with like moms, single or married is key. News flash, there are married  moms out there who feel isolated and lonely. I’m thankful to work in an office with my parents and brother; if I didn’t, I would definitely feel more isolated and lonelier. But, I also believe isolation and loneliness are situations that, under most circumstances, we can change. Conclusion: Occasionally, on a cold, dark night I have felt isolated and lonely, but in the warm light of day, it rarely crosses my mind.

6. “We worry constantly that we aren’t doing a good enough job.” Absolutely not. I don’t worry, and definitely not about this. The reason: I have Christ in my life and He loves my children even more than I do. How could I worry about my  job of raising them when I have the God of the Universe sticking it out and walking with me? I trust Him. Worry is futile.

7. “We aren’t very much fun.” Huh. How many married people with children are super fun? Really. Come on, be honest. By our mid-thirties we’re already falling asleep on the couch in the middle of our favorite show. We can’t go out for coffee because it keeps us awake and we can’t drink wine because it knocks us out. This is not a single parent thing. This is a parent thing. Kids wear us out and it doesn’t matter if there are 1 or 2 or 10 parents. You know it’s true. However, I’m definitely still fun.

8. “We don’t have a strong sense of ‘self'” Yes, I do. I’m a Mother. 😉  I think I covered this in my recent post 1%. Or 5.

9. “Long before our kids could understand adult conversation, we talked to them like they could.”  I have no idea if this is true. How would I? I have no way of knowing whether I would talk in the same manner to my children if I were still married or not. I’m kind of at a loss here.

10. “Someone complimenting our kid means the world to us.” Yes. Yes. And YES! Wait, doesn’t every  parent feel this way?

Yet, In all honestly, I think it does mean more to single parents. On this point, I agree whole-heartedly with the author of the article. I think #10 is a gauge with which we can measure how well things are going in #6 . When nice things are relayed to us about our children we get a sense that:

They really are turning out OK.

Being raised by only one parent isn’t scarring them for life.

They are well-adjusted and kind and happy.

joy l

I suppose every parenting journey, married, single or other, is unique. The paths of our lives rarely lead where we expected. I latch on to the joy that is found in the brief moments that build our days. Eventually, they will build a lifetime.

cwj 3Isn’t that exactly what this blog is all about?

I’ve been a single parent of four children for three & a half years.

 

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Vows & Vidalia Onions

Vidalias, where have you been all my life? If only I could find a man like you…

At two weeks shy of my 40th birthday I discovered Vidalia onions. I’ve been a long time onion crier and for the first time in my life I cut an onion that didn’t bring me tears.  Could there be a man out there like a Vidalia onion – one who doesn’t make me cry? (in a bad way, good tears are totally cool)

Would he need to have been born and bred (possibly conceived) in Georgia?

Would any Southern gentleman do?

If I ever do find my very own Vidalia onion of a man, I have one addition to the traditional vows that I would like him to add.

Groom: “Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only to her forevermore… 

…and take out the trash whenever the need may be

trash 1

This should never happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do.”

🙂

I’ve enjoyed spending the month of April writing through the alphabet with the A to Z Challenge. I’ve been waiting for “V.”

One Good Man

one

Once I was naïve.

I thought I could tell if a man were good or bad, kind or mean.

But I was wrong.

I learned the hard way that a man is not always who he portrays himself to be. I learned the hard way that he could hit and slap, kick and shove, beat and rape, subject you to public humiliations and break your heart.

I learned the hard way that the one person in the entire world who is meant to love and protect you is the one person in the whole world that you need protection from.

Recently I was invited to the 60th birthday celebration of a dear family friend, a man I have known my whole life, a man I admire and respect. You know who you are. We were told, no gifts, just a card. As I sat to write my hand and brain seemed incapable of expressing what was in my heart. It came out a mish mash of random thoughts that probably just seemed weird.

What I wanted to say was this: When I was growing up, I saw men who loved their wives and families. My father. My grandfathers. My uncles. My brothers. My Christian brothers. I was not unaware that there was evil in the world, but I had been exposed to men of integrity all my life, so when a man came along who lacked integrity but radiated charm and possessed a dynamic personality, I was easily deceived.

When I was at last free, my heart was broken once again, then a third time.

I can’t help but think of my favorite Christmas Carol taken from a poem by Longfellow.

Christmas Bells

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

At times I feel like changing the words, “There are no good men on earth I said,”

But like Longfellow, I am reminded,

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

And I remember those men, the ones that I have witnessed all my life, who love their wives. Who love their children. Who love their God.

And I am thankful for them. They are my own bells that chime to remind me that all men are not bad.

Dwelling

Coming off the high of a “new” kitchen I am seriously considering redoing my bedroom. And when I say “redoing” I mean – doing something. Painting, Shabby Chic-ing, Wallpapering the ceiling. Something.  For the last two and a half years it has been a place to sleep and change. There is no life. No Me in there. Green walls left over from the previous occupants. A bed, some nasty furniture and an ironing board smack in the middle that serves no purpose but to hold transitional stuff.

ImageImage Wall Art.

I suppose that for the past two and a half years I’ve looked at this little apartment as temporary. A stop in between on the way to somewhere else. Somewhere else – like marriage. Maybe that’s at the heart of it. I hoped to marry. I hope to marry. And Move. Or at least expand. Or at the very least, move out of that bedroom.

But here I am, ready to own it. It’s my place. I need to Make it My Place. A place I want to be. A dwelling.

dwell [dwɛl] vb dwells, dwelling, dwelt [dwɛlt], dwelled (intr)

1. Formal, literary to live as a permanent resident