21 October. I am grateful for the perfect partner for me.
I never ever took my wedding ring off. Except for surgery and I’d never had any prior to my two caesarians. Not elective (not really sure why I felt the need to add that but I suspect there’s a blog in there somewhere). Anyway, when our daughters were born B wore my ring on his baby finger. And then during all my breast cancer treatments, and he still does because the chemo and ongoing medication has led to swollen joints so my ring doesn’t fit anymore. He has never taken it off from the moment he put it on for safekeeping. I am grateful for the feeling I felt this morning as my glance settled on B’s hand. I think it’s called love.
I dropped my fourteen year old at a party last night. Watched her walk in smile and wave. My heart sang and sank. It sang at her beauty, her independence, her kindness. It sank at the loss of control, the fear of the unknown, the fear of her peers, the knowledge of needing to let go. But jeez louise, she is only fourteen. Was I right to let her go? This was a byo party. Openly byo. Yes, by invitation only, with id being checked at the door, but still bring your own booze. Come on. When I fetched her at 12, I drove past packs of kids heading home. Weaving home. Did their parents even know where they were? Girls with heads down in the gutter, vomit all over the road outside the party house. Kate and her friend were all smiles and full of stories. It was a good night, it was a fun night, but mom, everyone was drunk. Everyone. Even their friends who don’t drink. I admit I was very proud and yes relieved at my strong willed daughter. Actually she just isn’t interested yet. The father was there and had to call a passed out fourteen year old girl’s parents. I am so confused by all of this. The kids are going to do it, maybe earlier than I would like but the world is hurtling along for them. They’re dealing with things way before we had to and thats just the way it is. Was it right of these parents to provide a ‘safe’ environment for them to do it in? But what happens when those kids leave that house? Where do their parents think they are? Well I knew and I was there. And I suggest you do too. We can’t keep our girls in a cage, that is simply not the answer, we can only equip them to make the right calls, and to call us no matter what and no matter when. No judgement. Well, I’ll try. So I will continue to live by that, but damn it’s going to be tough. And it’s just too damn soon.
I’m trying to understand why women do it. Stay with men who abuse them. Physically or emotionally. Stay with men who repeatedly have affairs. It saddens me that perhaps its because they feel thats as good as it gets. That they are more fearful of being alone, of not deserving more, of not being financially sound, of what people might think, of shattering the illusion of happy families. It all just saddens me because it is just sad, when a persons hopes and beliefs about love and care and trust and respect are continually shattered. I do understand the need to protect and provide for our children, but accepting abuse is not doing that. No matter how much you love. Or are loved. It is teaching your son its ok to treat women in this way and teaching your daughters that they don’t deserve more. Imagine how much taking a stand might teach them. It will be sore and devastating and often financially debilitating but it has to be better. In ways you won’t know now but your children will one day thank you for. What saddens me most is all the excuses. It is simply not okay to abuse anyone. No-one gets to avoid taking responsibility. Everyone, everyone has a choice. Not to do it. And not to accept it.
A friend recently mentioned how anxious she sometimes gets when she has to meet up with a whole bunch of women. Anxious about whether she’ll fit in, whether she’ll be suitably dressed, whether she’ll be accepted, whether she’ll be liked. And not because she is insecure about who she is, but because she is an individual, she is different because she is open, she is honest, she is a strong woman, who respects others choices but won’t make them her own. I so get my friend. What I don’t get often, is other women. Sadly, sometimes I just don’t trust women. I love my women friends, but I do have to say I don’t often love some women. Women are very often other women’s worst enemies. And I know it often stems from insecurities, a need to be better, be prettier, be wittier, be more popular. Often a fear that they won’t be accepted. That they aren’t good enough. And that by putting others down, they’ll feel better about themselves. Well they are good enough. We all are. But I truly do no longer have time, empathy yes, but time no, for those women who subtly (or not) via a look or a nasty comment disguised as not, or a smile that doesn’t quite reach the eyes, let their insecurity mask their human-ness. If there is such a word. My wish is that we can all live and let live, celebrate our differences and our strength and meet each other with warmth in our eyes. And our hearts. We are sisters, after all.