Cute at 6, may not be cute at 12

When I started on the journey of Motherhood, I never thought I would have to think about identity and culture clashes. I mean, what is the big deal, you create roots, you raise a child, it is all good, right?

Wrong, I totally forgot about school and playground politics. I just want to hide while dropping off my child, I really don’t love it. I can deal with hardcore politics, I just can’t deal with the insanity that is Moms. I sincerely don’t get it.

Over the past year, I have watched some Mother’s gush about their 7-year-old son’s having “girlfriends”. I ignored it. I didn’t really understand what was cute about it. Then the one Mother came up to me and gushed that her daughter is getting gifts from her little boyfriend, and then went on about which boy and girl are paired up together, it was a lengthy discussion I couldn’t get out of. It went on, the girls having backup boyfriends and having lists of boys they like. I smiled politely, and attempted to walk away. She then said “My daughter told me that your son is too silly to have a girlfriend.” I turned, smiled and said “good”, and walked away.

The conversation made me totally uncomfortable, in a way I couldn’t articulate at first.

I wanted to be snarky, to say something smart and rude, instead, I said nothing, but I came home and thought about those words. The words didn’t hurt me, I don’t care if my son is too silly. I think it is awesome that he is being who he is, and is expressing himself the way he wants, he is a kid, I want him to be a kid. What hurt, was having a Mother thinking it was a worry, and giving me a worried look, like oh, it will be o.k that he isn’t paired up. That look of feeling sorry for me, like somehow I have to work on my child’s silliness to get a girlfriend. The thing is, I don’t care about that stuff, we don’t use labels in our house, for one reason. I don’t want my son to think that he will always be accepted and loved no matter who he loves now, or later.

You see, kids don’t just pick up on having a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” naturally at the age of 6 and 7, it is something they learn from adults. That it is cute that their 7-year-old boy is hitting his little girlfriend because he likes her, or that the little 7-year-old girl is dressed up for her boyfriend. Fast forward what is cute at age 6, is it still cute at 12, or 18? Why are parents so surprised that the one thing they pushed at 6 which was cute, all of a sudden is a worry at 12 and 13, I mean, you created the product. The two mothers who think it is innocent and cute that their son and daughter are boyfriend and girlfriend, will then backtrack at 12, worried about sex. You see, by pushing it at 7, you can’t backtrack out of that. Kids are now exposed to so much, but do they need to be pushed to being grown up at such an early age? As parents, why push on the boyfriend – girlfriend stereotype, when sexuality is a spectrum.

You see, as a parent, I want to set my child up for success, give him the right tools and guidance to let him fly on his own!

Dip Kid

 

 

An Ode to 10 Years

 

Growing up, I used to watch my parents kiss goodbye and hello, everyday, no matter what argument they had. My Father constantly told us the story of how he wooed my Mother, how he knew instantly she was the one. They cried together, fought hard, and loved each other until the very end. When my Father died, I was single and unsure about love in general. For the next 3 years, I dated on and off, partied, ignored my health, partied some more, and then, like a rude wakeup call, I decided it was time to take my health seriously.

I began to cut out everyone out of my life, and focused on going to the gym, studying, working, and what I was putting in my mouth. I decided, to date myself. My routine was clockwork, I didn’t go out, except with colleagues, or to the gym. I didn’t drink, I just read, watched movies, and studied. I began to research where I would move to. The moment I started putting applications into New York and Boston, I was introduced to a handsome man at the gym. He had a gorgeous smile, a beautiful voice, and an incredible laugh that slipped out easily through conversations. I had seen him for a year at the gym. I wasn’t interested, At All. I was focused on me, what would I need a relationship for. The moment we met, there was something different, something electric, something unbelievably comfortable.

We began with short conversations, then the conversations became longer on the stairmaster. Then he asked me to meet him for a run. I was still unsure, wanting to keep him at arm’s length, not sure I wanted this.

Our first date, pretty much sealed my fate.

I knew what my Father meant when he said he knew my Mother was it. I had that same feeling when I met my husband. Even though, I had been grappling with the feeling that I was unworthy of love, at least the kind of deep love that you fought hard to keep. Yet, there he was, the man who I knew instantly I had to love, love hard, laugh with, have insane adventures, and grow old with.

No matter how many times I have tried to run away from us, terrified that he is my anchor, that he doesn’t really love me. He stays steady, anchoring me once again. His love for me, still baffles me, still to this day, makes me wonder if it is all a dream. I knew, from the moment we started talking, that I would fall for him, and fall hard. That the love that I have for him, would never fail me, and would only grow deeper.

I didn’t really understand just how deep it could get, until I gave birth to our son. I still remember him leaning over me, holding one leg up, telling me that I could do it, that I was incredible, strong, and would be a wonderful Mother. He gave me the strength to push through the intense pain (I didn’t have an epidural), and to push one last time. When our son was put on my chest. I watched my husbands eyes fill with love like I had never seen. It was at that moment, I fell even harder for him.

2 weeks after giving birth, I would find myself lying in a hospital bed, after a D&C that went horribly wrong. My husband was lying on a mattress on the floor, our baby was nowhere to be found. Every machine was beeping in the room, and there was my husband, curled up on the floor, still wearing the same clothes from the day before. He looked exhausted, older. The moment he realized I was awake, he jumped up, came to the bedside to give me the biggest smile, and a soft kiss. He knew from the look on my face, that I was becoming frantic, I wanted to know where my baby was.

He squeezed my hand and said that my daytime nurse was outside cuddling with him, giving us a little quiet time.

The 7 days I was in the hospital, he was always there, sleeping on the floor, holding our son when i couldn’t, attempting to get answers from the doctors, going on quickly to get something to eat, sneaking in treats. Holding onto my hand when I couldn’t do anything but cry in pain. He never, and I mean never ran.

My Father once said, that love isn’t one big romantic gesture, it is all the tiny little things and shared moments, that build an intense love and relationship.

I love that my husband still to this day opens the car door for me.

He holds my hand, even under the table in a restaurant.

He gives me a knowing nod when we are in a difficult situation, but can’t get out of it.

When we would go up to the cottage when we were first together, he would wake me up early with a tea in a travel mug, and force me in a canoe and take me out for a paddle when no one else was even up.

When we decided that we were going to live, and live hard after almost losing my life. He began researching every hike we could do, and every trip we could take. We were going to take the world by storm. We started slow, my recovery was long and painful, he cheered me on, he found easy hikes, then began planning crazier adventures.

We have been married for 10 years, and together for 15. I have never wanted anyone else, or felt I was lacking anything. He has been nothing short of a devoted husband, an absolutely loving and giving father, and a man who has built 2 businesses and written a book, all in his spare time. I am always in awe of him, his intelligence, his drive, his devotion and his ability to always try to make himself better, inspiring me to make myself better.

There is no one that challenges me, drives me nutty, makes me laugh harder, makes me love harder than my incredible husband. To this day, I truly believe that my Father had some hand in the universe pulling us together.

I hope, there are many more adventures, many many more years ahead of us.

Dip Kid