The Girl Grows and Asks Questions; The Child I Gave Away

The Monster Teen was born when I myself was nothing more than a teenager. I was a geek screwed up in the head, learning to be tough (and ghetto) to act out against the horrible separation/divorce that my parents dragged me into the middle of. I’ve touched on my parent’s separation a lot, I know, but only because so much of that helped shape me to who I am today. Let’s move on.

I never wanted kids. When I was a child, I never played house where I was the housewife. When people tried to get me to play that role, I’d argue or asked to be the husband or child. When playing alone, I was always someone with an awesome career. Maybe a teacher, and actress, a spoken word performer. Whatever it was, there were no children involved. I think in the back of my mind I always believed that when a woman had a child, her life ended.

But I did get pregnant with the Monster Teen. My father, who pretty much had chosen career and friends over his family had long since moved a couple of states away. When he found out, he called me to say that I was a whore, a slut, who might as well have 4 more kids and get on welfare, because I was NEVER going to make anything out of myself.

Luckily for Baby Monster Teen and I, even though I am pro-choice, I couldn’t let the growing creature I carried be killed. To me, it wasn’t fair to snuff out his life just because I didn’t protect myself from pregnancy. So I let the baby monster be born. And he changed my life for the better. I know that I would’ve grown to be a much more selfish and self involved person if I hadn’t had him to raise. But then, fast forward 4 years, and I found myself again at another crossroads.

While young/dumb/in deep depression and on my first tour in the military overseas, I made the same mistake again. Unprotected smexy times, because I forgot to refill my birth control. I swear I knew the moment it was done that I was pregnant again. And sure enough I was right.

I ranted and railed at myself. I prayed to God to change things, to let it be all in my head, to erase what was growing inside of me. I just could NOT do this again. There was not enough love in me to love another child. I knew instinctively that this was a girl child, and all I could think was that my personality was not caring enough to take care of such a soft sensitive creature (no matter that I was girl too). I saw my dreams crashing down. To be bogged down with the care of not just one child, but TWO. That through my faults I was becoming exactly what my father suggested! A whore no better than those aunts and cousins that sat with their legs open, asking for a handout.

I couldn’t do it, but again, I couldn’t destroy the life. And that is where my best friend came in.

We’ll call her Florida for these purposes. I’d met Florida only about a week after arriving to my base overseas. She was around the same age as me, new to the military, and geeky in her own way. Although we were of a similar age, her maturity level was higher than mine at the time (see last time’s post about trying to fit in) and she kind of took me in like a little sister. Coming from being the oldest and having a lot of responsibility in my immediate family, this was a breath of fresh air. Especially as I was going through a deep bout of depression with missing my son, missing home, and then, becoming pregnant again.

I went to her, in a borderline hysterical state of what to do about this pregnancy. And she had an answer that even today shocks me with the blessing it was for all those involved. You see, even though both Florida and I were baby 20 somethings, she wanted children. She was the exact opposite of me. She was proud to play the mamma when playing house. She wanted to have a career yes, but even that was to teach to young children. She wanted children right away, and the more the merrier. Her parents had her very late in life, so she wanted to have grandchildren before they passed away. But she wasn’t married. And she didn’t want to just get pregnant by a random person. And here I come with an answer to HER dilemma.

So that day, I sat there telling her my problem. That the dude had gone crazy, trying to force me to have an abortion.

“I can’t get an abortion, but I don’t, I can’t raise another child!”

She came to a decision.

“Let me adopt the baby.”

I laughed at her that day, shocked out of my depression. I was like yeah right, She could raise the baby, and since we were best friends I would get to know the child, and be in her life even though I couldn’t raise her myself.

“Exactly,” said Florida. She was serious. And I felt my heart lurch with so many emotions. Somehow, this blessing fell upon me and the Girl not yet born. We planned it out, right then and there, though I still didn’t really believe. We were leaving for our next assignments in a few months, and I would continue the pregnancy. When I got close, I would take leave and come to her base, so that she would see her child being born. She would raise her with the knowledge that I was her birth mother, that she had an older brother, that she was blessed with double the family of a normal child. That I would be her Godmother. We talked of how, if one day she wanted to come to me and stay with me, we would allow it to happen. That we would be open and honest with her and each other. A great plan that we both agreed on and thought was best.

Everyone else though, were against it.

I didn’t tell my mother I was pregnant until I was about 7 months pregnant, and already stationed back stateside in the Midwest  Even when I had first come back to the states I hid it, spending time with my son and family without letting them know the secret plan. When I told her, lord, she was so angry. She begged me to keep the child, to let her stay with her grandmother until I was ready to raise her myself. Hadn’t she taken my son while I was in my first enlistment, going through basic training, school and then overseas for a year?!

She didn’t understand. I saw my gut instinct future. That I did not have the same connection as I did with little MT. That if I kept her, there would be that underlying resentment of being saddled with a child I didn’t want. Why do that to a child when there was someone ready and willing to love her with all of their being as a mother should?

We argued right through the Girl’s birth and a year or so afterward. Before she was born, she’d told others in the family about my decision, and all of them had harsh judgment for me. My aunt and uncle on one side of the family who were childless, why didn’t I think of them? My Aunt on the other side of my family, who’d been trying for a child, why didn’t I think of her? My evil cousin and her mother spread rumors that Florida had brainwashed me and was my lover, that had to be why I was giving away my child. My command at my new unit tried to force me to keep the baby, saying that they would allow me to take my son back early, before I re-enlisted. I could move out of the barracks if I said I planned to keep the child.

And it wasn’t just on my side. Florida had friends and family members saying that I was going to change my mind, or take the girl away once they’d had a couple of years together. That I had to want something else out of the deal.

But the day came to give birth. And Florida was right there, the first to hold her newborn. I signed the papers for adoption right then and there. And even when my mother called a couple of hours later saying that she would NEVER let me have my son back until I took back custody of the Girl, well even that conversation (that made me have a screaming incoherent anxiety attack) did not change my mind or heart on the choice (My mother apologized for her outrageous threats after I threatened for her to NEVER meet her other grandchild, and my mother and I repaired our relationship over the next couple of years). There was no guilt. No feeling in my heart that I had done wrong. I loved the girl unconditionally, but she was not my child. That mother/daughter connection forged itself between Florida and the Girl as soon as they touched.

And so years past. The Girl gets older. And at 10 she starts to asks questions. She is trying to find her place in the world. Is her family her family? Is her mother her mother? Do the boys Florida had later on after she married count on the same level as brothers like my son? I knew the day would come, but I thought I had more years. She asks about her biological sperm donor. I tell her his name and wait for more. Is she going to ask why she’s never met him? Do I tell her I cut off all contact when he threatened my life, demanding that I have an abortion or give him the child? That he got drunk and appeared in my room somehow while I was sleeping, threatening me until I had some male friends threaten HIS life? Do I tell her it came down to letting him believe that the Girl might not be his, letting him believe what he’d already accused me of, sleeping around on him while we were dating, just to keep him from stalking and harassing me?

One day I will have to tell this to the gentle soul that looks like the spitting image of me. She may grow to hate me for the things I did, the decisions I made. She looks up to me now as like a cool aunt kind of person, a person she wants to emulate. And it hurts my now older and humbler heart. Even after the years have passed I still believe I did the right thing. I gave her what I could. And hopefully, as she grows, and ask more questions, and understands, and gains deeper knowledge on life, love and the universe… Maybe then, she’ll still look at my heart and soul, and understand.

Girly Men… The Rise of the Metro… And my thoughts on it

Let me be clear right now. This is in no way a post about LGBT men. This is all about straight boys and men. And my thoughts on them losing their identity.

Being a woman raising a young man is a truly trying situation. And many women end up fracking those boys up. And with the rise of single mothers, I think this is also we have a larger generation of punk men. My son also has the fact that he’s a black man against him. You can’t argue the facts of how many are in prison. But, I’m rambling. Kinda. Maybe.

Anyway, some single women raise their boys like how they always fantasized the men who knocked them up should be. Some baby the heck out of their boys with a subconscious fear that they will leave them like the other men in their life. First off: your son is not your man, or boyfriend, or husband. That is gross and the beginning of either incest porn, or your child becoming a serial killer.

They also do not instill the fact that you have to work for things. I can’t believe how many times I’m met with surprise that I don’t take out the trash, clean my son’s room, wash dishes, or wash my son’s clothes. Those are HIS chores. He also knows basic cooking skills. And he’s been doing all of this for a while now. Why? So he doesn’t expect a woman to take care of him. So he can stand on his own two feet.

The other thing parents seem to be teaching their sons is that it’s never their fault and that the rules in place do not apply to them. How many times have I heard or read online some mother (and sometimes father) complaining that their child should be excused for their actions, or that a teacher was rude for not caving to a parent’s expectations. Let’s not even go into the “everyone’s a winner so no child is left out feeling like a loser mentality.” Or, its okay for Johnny (probably spelled JahnNee because that’s what’s hot nowadays) to stay in and play video games instead of going outside and playing. I mean, you don’t want your little precious to get dirty right?

So it’s my belief that with those combinations of things, more men are being raised to be soft men. Its okay now for men to look more like girls than girls. It’s okay that they expect the world to be handed to them. Why can’t a man carry a purse and eyeliner and pants tighter than mine? I’ll tell you why:

Because when I’m a military female and have your soft-*ss son as my troop that cries when he gets told off for not having his hair cut to the standards, when he cries at being made to work longer hours, cries when they failed because they’ve never failed at ANYTHING at life – well I’m tempted to check if their balls have dropped.

My son is not allowed skinny jeans. He is made to respect women, and knows that the one thing I will turn into a monster about is it he does. My son is not my friend. He is my child that I raise to be strong and self-sufficient. My son knows at 18 he can go straight to work or go to college but he is getting the frack out of my house. My son knows that yes, having emotions and being able to express them are okay, but no one takes a male blubbering all over the place seriously (women either). My son knows that he should accept people for who they are, but at the same time he must decide who HE is and what HE stands for on his own. He knows life is not fair, and that you must work for what you want. He may slip up here and there and make me want to bust him upside the head for things, but I have to let him learn from his mistakes. One day my son will make a woman very happy to be his wife. Heck, even if some day later he decides he’s gay, he’ll make a man happy to be his partner. Because he will not be weak.

Awesomesauce Parenting from a Slightly Weird Mind

Today’s text conversation with my son is pretty darn normal for us:

My monster teen: (sends picture of  tall closet mirror by the trash dump by our home) “Mom, this was beside the trash cans. It looks brand new.”

Me: “You have a new mirror coming in with your new bedroom furniture tomorrow. We don’t need it.”

Monster Teen: “Ok. I thought it would look good over my bed on the ceiling.”

At this point I choke on my spit. W…T…Frackadoodle in hot fudge does my 14 year old want with a mirror on the ceiling?!?!?! He’s PURE! He’s still able to touch a unicorn PURE!

Me: “What! Why would you want a mirror on your ceiling? You know who puts mirrors on their ceiling? Perverts. Or people that want a horror movie monster to come out of the mirror and get them.”

Monster Teen: ” -_-”

Me: “I’m just saying. Weirdo.”

Monster Teen: “Never mind. I don’t need to know all that.”

Me: “hahahahahaahha”

Monster Teen: “I’m going back to work on my chores. I don’t want that mirror anymore.”

Sometimes, I like to think my son was put into my life as a fun torture object. He has about 3 grey hairs he swears is from me hiding in closets and under his bed to scare him. He still threatens his friends with the fact that he has a psycho mom.

I’m a single mom, that was a single mom from a very young age. I was young and dumb and full of… juices… just like every teenager. Hormones and parents divorcing and arguments made me lash out, but the only person I hurt was myself, with drugs, and alcohol, and sex. So I did the very not smart and academically gifted thing I was known for, and got Cinemax with a guy, and pregnant. And became a teenage statistic.

Or I could have. Instead of becoming the whore meant for welfare and 5 more kids like my “wonderful” father predicted, I finished high school, started to work as a preschool teacher, and took night courses at the local community college. When I realized that it wasn’t enough money to really take care of my monster, I joined the military. I vowed that although I was a selfish bastard and never wanted children, I would raise try and raise a child better than I could ever be.

And so, my child-raising style may be a little unconventional, especially for this day and age. I’d rather my son fear me a bit, rather than be his friend. We talk when he’s done something wrong, but I still take my uniform belt off and spank him afterwards. We also spend loads of time together, watching anime, or heading to a museum or amusement park. I talk logically about him NOT going to college because school is so hard for him with his reading disability. Not right away anyway. We talk about sex, and not becoming a statistic. He knows how he came into being, and knows that he is very much-loved, but it’s a hard road that I took. And when I’m bored, I like to stare at him with a maniacal grin and do the sound of the scary monster chick from The Grudge. Or tell him that he was cloned. Or describe how I would cook him if we were stranded in our house without any food.

Meh, he seems well-adjusted.