March 26, 2004


Let's get things started with a personal admission and then move quickly on--in my life I have had exactly three real boyfriends. Three. I married the last one. I like to tell myself that it's because I am extremely picky and hypercritical, which, if you read here you know I am, but the real reason is because I wasn't ever really willing to put myself on the line emotionally if I wasn't guaranteed a return. And since a lot of men are the same way--well, you know where I'm going with this, and might-have-beens, while fun to contemplate when in a nostalgic mood, don't count.

Enter parenthood, the single event that solidified my belief in instant karma. Here I am constantly letting it all hang out emotionally, and I know that the whole thing will hold a lot more heartbreak than not getting asked out by my secret crushes ever did. So, Little Miss So Emotionally Guarded She's Spock gets her comeuppance in the form of a fickle, moody, two-and-a-half year old. I suppose I should be pleased that I can offer the universe a chuckle at my expense, but honestly I'm not that amused.

But. Then there are moments like yesterday, when my cell phone rang as I was on the way to meet up with some girlfriends for some much needed margarita therapy. At first, I dreaded answering, afraid that The Boy had suffered The Mother of All Meltdowns and the Hublet was calling in the cavalry. Not the case.

"He wants to say goodbye to you on the phone," Hublet sounded amused and exasperated.

"Okay, put him on...Hey, sweetie!"

"Bye, Mommy."

"Bye, boogerhead. You have fun with daddy, okay?"

"Otay. Bye, Mommy."

"Bye. I love you."

"I love you mommy. Bye!"

"Bye." Silence, and I wait for Hublet to come back on, and then,

"Bye mommy! Love you mommy! Bye!"

I chuckle, tell him I love him again and then wish Hublet lotsa luck. I'm always amazed when he goes through phases of "mom-need"--flattered and sometimes annoyed when he won't let me go to get on with the small tasks of living. But in calmer times, I know that these are the memories I'll be clinging to when he does let me go and breaks my heart in the process. And so I've come late to the realization that I wouldn't change a thing, heartbreak be damned, but better late than never, to flog a cliche'.

Remind me to revisit this entry in about ten years, okay?

Posted by Big Arm Woman at March 26, 2004 01:43 PM

Thank you for this. You really will revisit this in the future and be astounded and amazed. Having two grown (teenage/college/high school) boys, that currently are providing us with interesting times, suffice it to say, you made me feel good.

There will be times that fickle and moody can't come close to how they behave, only because it's too sweet of a description.

But, you won't forget the times you just described and the many, many other times that will make you glow with joy.

Poignancy Friday.

Posted by: Kim at March 26, 2004 02:13 PM

I just found a new book that I actually like about parenting the short set--The Happiest Toddler on the Block. here's an exerpt and here's Karp's website.

This does nothing, however, to fix your own mom problem.

Posted by:
liz at March 27, 2004 02:04 AM

Things may not fall out the way you think.

My daughter, who will be 17 on Wednesday, stayed home one day last week with a bad cold. Before I left for work I brought her a cup of coffee and some sudafed, and sat on her bed for a moment to see if she needed anything else. When I asked if she had everything she needed she said yes, then she leaned her head on my arm and said, "I feel better when you're here." Gosh, it was hard to leave her, even though I knew she'd sleep all day.

Posted by: Laura at March 28, 2004 04:50 PM