In Search of Family

In Search of Family

When I was a child, I had one wish.  I wanted a real family.  I used to dream about it.  I remember sitting in my backyard and watching the house behind mine.  I am not sure why I picked that house.  There were houses in every direction because we lived in a suburb.  But that house was appealing for some reason.  I had met the family, so maybe I just thought they were nice.  I used to wonder about them.  Did they have a peaceful life?  Did they fight?  Did they abuse their kids?  I considered knocking on their door and asking if they would let me stay with them. As I make my way through another holiday season with “just the three of us”, I can’t help but think about those missing family members.  I am not talking about the immediate family that lives under the same roof.  I am lucky enough to have that.  I am talking about extended family … aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins.  I don’t have that.  I know that it was my choice.  I chose to leave my biological family.  I chose to end my relationship with people who abused me throughout my entire childhood.  I made a choice that I could not make as a child.  I freed myself from those chains.  For that, I am proud of myself. But there’s still something missing.  I get through the endless television commercials about perfect family dinners and emotional homecomings with my array of well-honed defense mechanisms.  I convince myself that I am lucky to avoid the family drama.  I don’t have to suffer the...
Just a Kid

Just a Kid

When I became a single mother, I knew it was going to be hard.  I knew there would be a lot of guessing, especially since I didn’t have real parents.  I knew it would be a tremendous strain on my energy, time and finances.  I knew I would want to pull out my hair.  I even knew it would be scary.  But nothing could prepare me for my relationship with my little boy.  Nothing could prepare me for the doubt, confusion and downright terror that come with raising a little boy, as a single mother, with no father-figure in his life. I have made mistakes.  I have spent much of the past seven years learning how a little boy is supposed to act.  I don’t mean the societal norm that has been set for boys.  I mean their innate tendencies that are so critical to their positive growth … the tendencies that society suppresses.  I now understand that boys never stop moving … ever.  I get that boys want to learn with their entire body and soul.  I have come to realize that a full-fledged attack on my physical being is just another way of saying “I love you.”  I have also learned about the male bathroom etiquette.  Unfortunately, it was a little too late to avoid an embarrassing incident.  I will always have a little guilt about that. I have heard the stories about boys feeling pressure to “be the man of the house” when there is no man in the house.  Before it happened to me, I assumed that other mothers were doing something to pressure those...