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A Meaningful Narrative – The Challenges and Pleasures of Secular Parenting

3 Apr

My son is nearing four now, what an incredible age! When allowed to freely explore, ask questions, and wonder about life – this is an age of outstanding discoveries, of vital first impressions of the world, of discovering who is trustworthy, what is permitted, where one can go and where doors are shut.

I have two strong guidelines in my parenting, that have been guiding me from the day I brought my Boy back home from the hospital. Be authentic. Tell the truth. There is a lot more of course. I try to listen to him, I mean really listen, as much as I can. I try to set boundaries where they are necessary, I try to support his urges to be independent and guide him and be supportive, and not lose my patience and maintain composure, even if he throws a fit because his sunny-side-up is leaking and now he won’t eat it.

But I honestly believe, if I’m authentic, if Mom-Me, is not an entirely different person from Professional-Me, and Intellectual-Me, and Friend-Me, and Lover-Me, then I’m doing something right. So I tell my son about my day when I come back from school. He listens, and then he tells me about his day at preschool. I joke around with him, because I can be silly like that sometimes. I say I’m sorry when I make a mistake. And I tell him the truth, or a version of the truth that he can take in, when he asks me the big questions, when he wants to know how life begins and what happens when it ends.

Yes, he’s not even four yet. But my son has already asked if everyone dies, and if I’ll die one day. I couldn’t tell him some ridiculous story. A part of me wanted to go with the heaven-story. It’s a good one, really. It comforted me when I was younger. But I didn’t. I said we live forever in the hearts of those who love us. It’s a good narrative. It’s as close as I could get to where I really am vs the death thing. He accepted my narrative the way only four-year-olds can, absorbing it, inscribing it into his own narrative, into the truths that he will now grow up with.

Now he knows, because he asked and I answered, that the male and female bodies fit together perfectly, like two pieces of a puzzle, that the sperm and the egg yearn to unite and form a baby. That they have to wait for love, because only when a man and a woman love one another, can they unite to form life. He knows that I think it’s a miracle. And so he finds if miraculous as well. And it is, isn’t it? He is too young to feel confused about it. Too young to be weirded out. The narrative I chose to deliver has now become one more truth that he will measure future stories about sex, love and child bearing against.

“How does the baby come out?” He asked.

“A woman body is amazing,” I said with wonder. “It widens for the baby to come out from between her legs. They in narrows again.”

“Really? It can do that?”

“Yes,” I answered. “Isn’t it amazing?”

 

 

 

A Nightly Chat

30 Sep

“I wanted to tell you something earlier, but I didn’t want to make you laugh while you were… you know. Safety first.”

I laugh. “Well?”

“This might sound weird, but I mean it.”

“OK, come on. Out with it.”

“Well, it’s just that you really put you heart into that blowjob.”

“What the fuck? D?”

“No, I’m not saying it to be funny. Well, maybe a little. But I mean, when you do that, it feels like you’re not just doing it, you’re really.. well… You put your heart into it. Sorry, I’ve no other words to describe it. And it’s amazing, in case that part wasn’t clear.”

“Well, thanks babe. I do put my heart into it.”

“I do too. You know, when you let me do that to you.”

“Yeah, I can tell.” I put my head on his chest. “You know that’s why we’re so good at this.”

“We’re amazing.”

“If only there were sexual Olympic games. We’d totally score high.”

“There are actually.”

“No there aren’t!”

“Yes, there are. You want to go?”

“What? How? Explain to me how that works.”

“Well, you have a bunch of girls, blowing a bunch of guys, and there’s a judge…”

“You’re such an idiot.”

“And the first one who comes – ”

“Now just wait a minute. No. That makes no sense. The first one who comes? That’s not necessarily the best one! You could totally have a quick mediocre orgasm.”

“Hmm… Well, maybe they attach electrodes to your head or something to measure your level of pleasure.”

“Now, that makes more sense.”

We lay there quietly.

“I like laying here in bed with you, talking nonsense.”

“Me too.”

“I like being with you, hanging out, just talking,”

“I like that too babe.”

“And I like fucking you.”

“What a coincidence. So do I.”

“You do, huh?” He smiles. “So which do you like more?”

“What do you mean?”

“Talking, or fucking?”

“Is that a real question?” He laughs. I roll my eyes. “I like the whole package, OK?”

“Well, it’s a pretty awesome package.” He holds me. Just go to I love you I think to myself.

“Hey, I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Itineraries, Sexy Rendezvous and Maintaining Sanity

9 May

Today is a down day, how surprising, as it’s a Saturday and I am home alone with no itinerary. I woke up at ten and it took me a full hour to get out of bed. Finally I was up, getting some work done in my pajamas. I had some coffee, but I only remembered to eat when I felt like I was going to faint. You’d think I’d have this down by now. I just don’t know how to be alone anymore.

On a different front, things are going pretty well with D. We seem to have survived my meltdown last Saturday, and our nearly six month old relationship is slowly evolving, two steps forward, one step back. Each in turn pushing forward, and pulling away. It’s like a series of contractions, only less painful and more pleasurable. I clutch and he releases, I release my grip and he tightens his. I’m desperate, he’s patient, I’m easy, and I can sense his need.

He’s working this weekend and again we’re finding little loopholes in our schedules to see each other. It’s kind of exciting, these hastened lunch breaks and naked afternoon rendezvous. Yesterday, on his way to work, he dropped by for an hour, and I was waiting for him in a tight sheer spaghetti strap top, and a skirt that I never wear without tights, since it’s way too short to be appropriate. But this time I passed on the tights, and underwear too for that matter.

It was one of the sexiest encounters I’ve had with him, or with anyone. He was beside himself with excitement, and something more, a kid of gratitude that you can only understand if you’ve been in a sexless relationship for a long time, especially in one that made you feel emasculated. There he was, showing me in every way that he could not resist me, his body warm, built just the right amount, his biceps streching his Tshirt only slightly, his face unshaven, his bristles prickly as he kissed my shoulders and neck.  “I missed you, zalataya.” (That’s my new nickname) “A lot.”

Minutes later he was naked and on top of me, my skirt rolled up, his arm firm around my neck and his other hand grabbing me by my waist. He moved me, positioned me, and repositioned me, and I loved him in control, molding our bodies like an artist. There’s a moment during sex when my mind goes foggy, and even if I tried I wouldn’t be able to think of anything. All systems shut down. I love that moment.

It was such good sex, that when we were done, I kissed him and said thank you. That made him crack up and he said, “I’m crazy about you.” and after a pause he added, “A lot”. And that made me laugh. We lay there in bed, holding each other and smiling to ourselves, and I wanted to hashtag the moment #Feeling blessed motherfuckers.   

Yesterday was an up day. I was at work in the morning, then running errands, meeting D, family dinner, and meeting up with J for a beer later that evening. All time accounted for. No time to overthink my life or sink into melancholia.

I really should stick to what I know.

Relationship Allergies

8 Mar

Yesterday was Saturday, and by chance, D and I were both free in the afternoon. We’ve been seeing each other for almost 4 months and our dates have almost always been nightly encounters, in my living room after my Boy went to bed, or on my night off, out at the movies, having dinner, or under the covers, in and out of sexy outfits, or watching a movie curled up with a cup of whiskey tea.

We both have kids, we both have jobs, we both have very limited time to spend with each other. He puts in an extra shift on Saturday to make ends meet, and we have to say goodbye at 6 a.m. on the only morning that I can sleep in. That’s just the way it is for us, and it’s been fine so far.

Not to mention my new rule of no sleepovers when my Boy is home. For the last two months I’ve been pushing it, allowing myself to fall asleep in his arms and waking up at 5 a.m. to sneak him out of the house before my Boy awakens. But last week, he had bad dreams, and came into my room crying at 3 a.m. I jumped out of bed and picked him up. “It’s OK sweetie,” I soothed him and myself, as I put him back in his bed. He didn’t see D, it was dark and he was half asleep but it freaked me out enough to wake D up and send him home right then and there.

So when we found out we would have a free afternoon together, we were pretty excited. I had all kinds of ideas for plans. We could go to the beach, or to the marina to walk by the water and sip beer and look at the yachts. Or we could catch a movie, or get sushi, or try to find an art exhibition to see. “I have an idea too,” D said, and since I tend to be bossy, and I’m working on it, I went with the flow.

D wanted us to go to the park for a long walk. It was nice to walk with him, in the cool breeze by the little lake with the ducks swimming about and the toads croaking loudly and mosquitoes biting my everything. After our walk we went to the grocery store to buy vegetables, and that’s when I started feeling weird. We got lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, a red onion, olives and feta cheese for a spectacular salad. D picked out the beers. We left the store and at the car he handed me the keys which he’d been keeping in his pocket for me, and I handed him the groceries to hold while I opened the car door. As we entered the car I felt a familiar yet distant feeling in my gut, a certain niceness, a plainness, a just-another-Saturday-eveningness, buying groceries and making a salad. It was odd.

We got home, made dinner and sat down to eat and watch a movie. I was enjoying the quiet comfort of being together with no expectations. But I wasn’t able to completely relax. My body was reacting to something, sending warning signals up from my feet to my knees and into my gut, making me a little short of breath. This is bad. The last person I shared such intimacy with ended up destroying me. Temporarily at least. I don’t want this. I don’t need this. A walk in the park! Salad! And he sits there on the sofa, and you wouldn’t believe it, scratches his scrotum right in front of me. No. I want to go back to nightly sex sessions and dark movie theaters and drunken silliness. I was so freaked out that I didn’t take my hands off him for the rest of the night, making up for a moment of intimacy with wild sex, until he basically told me he was exhausted and needed a break.

I had relationship allergies yesterday. I had a bad reaction to a moment of closeness that I used to crave. My favorite times with BD were evenings like this one, strolling in the park and making a salad. I used to love going to the supermarket with him. Having him hold the bag as I opened up the car door. I don’t know if I can do that again though. And maybe it’s a good thing that we’re so goddamn busy. It’ll be ages before we have an afternoon like this again.

The L Word

6 Dec

Sex makes me very emotional. The better it is, the more emotional I get. And so was the outcome last night.

We’d just shared an amazing sex session, wrapped in each other’s arms, still breathing heavily, when I said: “Don’t freak out. I love you.” I wasn’t panning on being the first to say it. But fuck it. I really wanted to say it and I wasn’t in the mood to restrain myself.

His response came quickly, almost as if he’d rehearsed it. “I think you’re amazing. I love being with you.” Then he held me tightly, so tightly that it was difficult to breathe. And he said, “It’s too early for me to say that.”

“I didn’t say it so you’d say it back.” I lied.

“I know.” He lied back.

Then we kissed and made out, and put it behind us. And it seemed to be OK. We spent the night together and had coffee in the morning, and told eachother what a good time we’d had. And made plans to meet again tonight.

And now, we’ll see.

A Glimpse into a Highliy Desirable Future

28 Nov

I wanted to invite him over when I was doing well. When I didn’t have  a a cold, and my boy was not feverish, and I hadn’t had a crazy day at work and sat in traffic for hours. I wanted him to come over when I was home alone, when I could cook us a fancy meal and open up a bottle of wine, and wear make up and a flimsy dress, and light candles, and feel attractive.

But at the end of the day I had, feeling defeated and lonely, when he asked if I wanted a hug, I said yes. Yes to a hug in sweats. Yes with the dishes unwashed. Yes without makeup. Yes with checking in on my boy every half hour to make sure his fever wasn’t going up again.

He wore sweats too. And when he came in I just held him, for a long time, standing by the door. His hands were on my back, touching my shoulders, then in my hair, and when I pulled back, he pulled me in for a kiss, a nice, warm, long one, by the open front door.

Later, on the sofa, we sat and chatted about our day. His daughter, almost two, had also had a fever and been sent home from daycare. Now she was with her mom. I told him about my boy, and the driving him to his grandparents in traffic, and going to work, and visiting M, and wanting to fix things that couldn’t be fixed.

Then he said he was hungry and I whipped something up and went in to check on my boy while he ate, and then we were on the sofa again, and he was rubbing my feet, and his touch was so soft and tender, that I wanted to cry.

With a sick child in the other room, with sweats, and no makeup, we went into my room to have the most comforting quiet sex you could possibly have, with someone you’ve only known for a couple of weeks, and do not allow yourself to fall for just yet. I had planned for alcohol and sexy outfits and fireworks, but as we lay in bed later, holding each other, I realized we both still had our socks on, and that was just fine.

I had an image then, of life with a partner. For the last two years I’ve been pretty much convinced that living with a partner was not for me. That a boyfriend would suit me fine, but that I would always need my own space, that I would never like someone enough to want to share my space with them. Now, I had a glimpse of a life, where things were not always sexy and glamorous. But how amazing it would feel to have someone there with me to share the ups and downs, and have quiet sex with, while my sick son was sleeping off his fever.

This was Wednesday. And in case you’re wondering, last night was my night off, and it was complete with dining, and wining and sexy outfits and candles. And it was delicious! But something about lying on the sofa with him, and having him rub my feet with the fuzzy socks on and tell me about his day, was nonetheless spectacular.

Fourth Date Boxing Match

23 Nov

He said first dates are like the first round of a boxing match. You’re pretty much just sizing each other up, taking a good look at your opponent and trying to figure them out. It’s only during the second round that the fight actually begins. So I guess that means we’re boxing now.

Yesterday was our fourth date, and it was a stay-at-home-and-watch-a-movie date, the kind where you never get to the end of the movie, because you end up naked, wrapped in each others arms, sleepy and satisfied.

I’m going to call him D here.

He’s divorced, has twin girls that are almost two, and he has them half the week, so he know what it means to raise children. My first impression of him, during our first chat online, even before talking to him on the phone, was that he was decent and sensitive. The kind of guy that tells you that he likes you, but doesn’t try to kiss you on a first date. That asks if you’re enjoying yourself and cares about your answer. That brings you flowers when you invite him to dinner and a movie at your place, and doesn’t try anything until he’s certain you’ll be into it. The kind that doesn’t give you empty compliments, but says things that seem real and sincere. That says thank you at the end of an amazing make out session. The kind you defeinitely want to have a fifth date with.

As always with me, things are moving quickly, and I don’t feel like pacing myself. We’ve been going out for only a week, and I’ve already seen him four times (and seeing him again tomorrow). I love this feeling of walking around in a haze, and smiling to myself, and daydreaming about him. And this time, somehow, I’m not horribly nervous either. Sure I’m a little shy, sure I’m excitable, but something about his manner puts me at ease. It feels safe somehow to start liking him.

And I am.