Well, while enjoying my late evening space sans three fourths of my children, I started a text conversation with a girlfriend. During that conversation, she stated that she wants me to get married. Here we go again! Read this:
I need to marry you off to an amazing widowed millionaire who has 4 daughters. You deserve it. …I told you I would pray on it for you.
Now, how much wrong have I done in this lifetime that she thinks I DESERVE, not only a husband, but four additional children, much less girls, in my world?
Fast forward a week. I am attending a sporting event with the same girlfriend that sent me the text. She is with a large group of people from a variety of backgrounds, age groups and addresses. Like most sporting events, it was loud and hard to maintain a direct conversation. Nevertheless, she proceeds to tell me about one of the gentlemen in the group. I am struggling to hear all that she is saying, but I did catch his occupation and a bit about his personality. I was confused on why she was sharing this information so I interrupted to ask “Is he a new suitor of yours?” She looks surprised and responds “No, he is for you.” OK. I BUSTED OUT laughing. You have to personally know me to fully understand the volume level connected to my laughter…but it’s far from a sweet chuckle. Aw hell!!! No she didn’t! She is relentless!!
For reasons I don’t understand, she is not alone. I have few friends who think that marriage would be a welcomed addition to my life. I have one friend who was near tears when I told her I have no intentions on marrying until my children are in college. “Caz, you are too wonderful to remain single. You have too much love inside of you to be alone.” Good gravy! Then there was my other friend who said, “Caz, if nothing else, you need to be married for the boys’ sake. They need a man in their life that can help take the burden off of you.” Say what now? (You do know that didn’t go over well with me and heavy emphasis was put of my displeasure with the word “burden”.) Nevertheless, the marriage bees keep buzzing around me.
I’ve been told that I’m “running”, “jaded”, “afraid” and “guarded”. The “guarded” part is fair, I was wired that way at birth. The rest is bunch of malarkey. Let me give you a little background. I am a mother of four sons. I was married to their father and that relationship lasted from the age of 18 through 32. As divorcees, we had a solid co-parenting relationship. I had sole custody and although he lived many states away (and without court orders mandating how our time with our children was to be shared) he saw the boys at least once a month, all holidays and the entire summer. It worked for me. It worked for him. Best of all, it worked for them. He died a tragic death two years ago. I am now more than just a single parent, I am the sole surviving parent. That’s my role and quite frankly, I can dig it.
So here’s my logic regarding my life and marriage. I am not a martyr to the cards that I have been dealt. I was not created to suffer and I don’t plan to. Shoot, I love life and believe I live each day out loud, raucous laugh and all! With that stated, my children are my priority. I make no apologies for that. I have no interest in sharing, negotiating, or co-mingling my role as their parent with anyone else. I am not interested in marriage while my children are young and live under my roof. Are there many blended families that make it work? Of course…but check this out…it requires “work”. I am not interested in any more work at this stage of my life. Relationships are work. Hard work. As for me, I am on a sabbatical.
My suitors have heard it said loud and clear, “The best I can offer you is sixth place and I am not sure I am even willing to do that. So don’t get attached.” Managing the everyday activities, childhood grief, teenage hormones, grades, and the individual developmental needs of four boys is a lot to juggle for one person. I enjoy it. I love doing it and I am not complaining. However, I am not willing to sacrifice an iota of my time as their parent for the everyday activities, adult stress, male hormones, work pressure and individual developmental needs of a grown man. Why is that considered “running” “jaded”, “afraid” or “guarded”? To me, it just sounds honest.
Onward and Upward,
Onward and Upward,