I do not have a brother. I do not have an uncle. Because I do not have an uncle, I do not have any cousins of either gender. My paternal grandmother passed away well before I had reached a level of maturity to observe her relationship to my Dad. I only mention it to underline this next point:
I’ve never watched anyone in my close family be the mother of a boy – or more precisely, be the mother of a man.
When my Cheesedoodle was a tiny baby – four weeks old or so – another woman told me that there is a big difference between being the mother of a girl and the mother of a boy. I nodded, as one does when they have NO IDEA what the other person is talking about, but doesn’t want to look like an idiot. It didn’t take me long, however, to begin to see that she was absolutely right.
Ever since my mackerdoodle has come into my life, I catch myself looking at Jonathan and thinking how exciting it will be to watch my daughter fall in love. I want to see her loved and cherished the way I feel loved and cherished and the way her grandmothers are loved and cherished. When she was tiny and we were learning about breastfeeding together I found myself praying that she would have the gift of breastfeeding her own child. There is a sense of delight and anticipation about her life as a woman.
But when I look at my son and happen to think of his future the first thing to cross my mind is: “I don’t want some hussie getting her hands on my little boy!”
As soon as it pops into my mind I KNOW it’s irrational, but it’s a hard one to shake. The more I have considered this thought, the more I have realized that more than fifteen years ago, when Jonathan asked me to marry him, I was replacing his mother as the primary female in his life. I did it without one thought to how his mother would feel about it. To me Jonathan was a knight in shining armor, a prince charming, Mr. Right. I didn’t think until I had my own son that before he was all of those things to me, Jonathan was Carol Cowan’s little boy.
So, Carol, thank you for letting me take that role in Jonathan’s life. Thank you for raising him to be the man who became my Mr. Right.
And when some young woman becomes the object of my Cheesedoodle’s affections, maybe you can help me not to blacken her eyes.