Monday, March 16, 2009

Moms in Like

I've had someone in my life for a little while and it's been nice. It's nice to get a sweet card you didn't expect or have someone bring in a bottle of wine instead of requiring that you take them to all the hottest spots in Portland to have a "date." But the universe doles out this pleasure in measured doses, and i today i have that day-long sinking feeling that happens when someone goes away. Of course i deserve to be loved just as much as anyone else, though i see that a mix of my own reservations and present circumstances only allow it part-time.

Perhaps it's because i already have one important relationship that takes up so much of my time.
Perhaps the universe wants me to enjoy another adult's company -- naturally, right? -- but it knows i can only handle this much. Any more would seriously cut down on the time i spend having sweet moments with my child, and it's clear she needs that so badly. People have a way of behaving badly to get attention, and she is no exception. In fact this little revolutionary is a master at it. She will pull out all manner of tantrum and pout at just the moment i am trying to give my attention elsewhere. It ends up with me exasperated and giving her negative attention, but it's attention nonetheless.

Single parents have to juggle the child with the date any time there is a date to be had, and usually it's the child who wins out in the war for attention. Our society reveres this idea of a selfless mother who thinks nothing of themself, and somehow the children are privy to that ideal at a very early age. So am i all right with that role? The revolutionary in me says absolutely not; though i have already dealt with today's goodbye not with despair, but with a resolve that that is the way of the world, and my place is here with her. The child won out in this war for attention, because it is so.

I did learn one important lesson in this go-round of a fleeting relationship. Children are not necessarily something that those who come calling for a date will be threatened by, in terms of attention. The good ones will realize when the war for attention cannot be won, and will step back and let a single mama do her attention-giving. (By the way, Ms. Single Mama has some great tips on dating for you single mamas who need a little encouragement.)

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