He has just cause for many psychoses we all bequeath our children, even if we try our damndest not too. After all. How many couches would go bare in psychiatrist’s office if we didn't have someone to blame all the pestilence and ill luck that burgeons in our lives as we grow up. Someone to blame like our mothers. He could claim that I wasn't there a good bit of his growing up time and he'd be right. I was not there. I was dealing with juggling three different hats just trying to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.
And, don't you know that his father and I played the eternal tug of war many single mothers and divorced fathers play - a begrudging fight for every dime of the paltry sum the courts awarded me monthly to raise a boy to a man without one. I went five years without any payment whatsoever as my ex moved on to wife number two and then number three, had other children and declared that he indeed had a family to worry about and couldn't understand why I nagged him about paying money for his first born on my first call to him in five years.
I had requested a pair of shoes from my ex because I noticed my son running funny and asked him what was wrong. He told me that he folded his toes under in his old shoes because he knew that I didn't have money to buy him any for his growing feet and that it was okay. He understood. So.
I located the ex and asked for a new pair of sneakers. This is when I got the sentence about being a nag. This is after five years of no calls and just hope that he'd find a conscience and pay up. This is when I got pissed and contacted the state to help intervene. This is just one of the setups some of us mothers get from the 'system'.
Now. When I speak of the system, I am talking the whole stink, soup to nuts. You see. We do not really honor motherhood. Ah yes, you say. There's mother's day, the whole American charm bracelet with mom, home and apple pie on it. There is this patriarchal meringue we're fed about how mothers and children are important. Not really. And then there is this outer system and society that sets up dodgy sitches for us if we do become mothers: Where was/is the health care system so we don't have to beg for school shots and treatment for recurrent earaches? Where was/is the judicial system that really makes sure that child support really supports a child instead of throwing pocket change at an already really skinny situation like groceries being on a wish list? Where was/is the community that helps with child care, psychological services, help with a damn day off? Where was/are the wages that honestly allow a woman on her own to afford a decent life for her offspring?
Am I bitter? No. Simply older, wiser and disgusted by the crumbs that are thrown at women one day a year in this country. Elsewhere on the globe, women are chattel - much like mules. Women endure wars, rape as part of the psychology of warfare, early death from multiple pregnancies, fistulas when they are forced to bear children at eleven and twelve years old and their tiny wombs burst. Women are sold as sex slaves, forced into prostitution for the animals that connive to get them there and then live off of the income from those female bodies like fat ticks. Women are aborted in India, China and many other countries because women are not as valuable to society as males. They are killed or abandoned at birth in some countries so that the natural population ratio is skewed towards males making it difficult to find them wives when they grow up. Women have little or no control over the birth and rearing that their bodies are subjected too. It's all decided elsewhere by men and religions and governments who will never have the experience and never understand the risks.
We women are set up from birth to endure all this as our lot. Forget the fact that it is women that give birth and nurture life. Several centuries of male dominated religions, government and HISstory have left us this legacy. We. Women. The unclean. The unable to handle public office or education or jobs that we very damn well did when necessity was on us - thank you Rosie the Riveter. It wasn't all that long ago that we were given the vote in good ole U S of A.
So our jobs as mothers are set up double hard against us by our society, our religions and especially by the male children that we bear. Do you know that women do more than 90% of the work and labor on this planet? Do you understand why we're molested and beaten? We're the only species that I know of who give birth to our own predators.
So I secretaried, read cards, sold stuff at flea markets and craft shows - anything legal to earn enough for us to live. Of course, those long days and seven days a week often left little time for the real mothering I would have liked to have done. Could I have done better? You bet your ass. But I did the best that I could with the material I had on hand and the time allotted to me in the days.
I hope at some point he does see a counselor. I hope he curses me and squalls and rolls around on the floor in front of that counselor. I hope he's given some tools to cope with and take responsibility for his addictions and shortcomings. I hope that he can clear his eyes and see that the people he replaced me with sold him out, including his friend, the drug dealer. I hope at some point he will man up and see that I am not the cause of his financial problems, his drug exploits, his sex life and the inner unhappiness he may feel. I hope he sees that I never abandoned him, never gave up on him, even when he gave up on me. I hope he sees at some point that I really, truly do love him regardless and that he is the one that has seen fit to cut something wonderful out of his life. That was the last thing I said to him when I saw him the end of 2004.
Oh. I have others who do call and wish me a good day each year. They are surrogate children who come to me to talk over their problems or when they need my help or just to enjoy my company. Imagine that. I welcome them. Buddy calls and comes over to install an air conditioner in the spare room. He also just calls to see how I am. He was a best friend to my son growing up and spent a majority of his time here. He calls me mom. Vanessa calls from Naples where she is running with the jet set and busy being beautiful and a wonderful success. She calls me mama. Demetria calls and we exchange wishes for each other. She calls me honey. Darla calls to let me know that she's thinking of me, too. She calls me Other Mother or Shamanamama. My girlfriends all call and we exchange wishes too. We call each other Love You at the end of a conversation.
I really want everyone to start practicing the lofty ideals today is held up for. It really would be Mother's Day if the whole planet practiced the Law of the Mother - nurture, no wars, no putting more burdens on any person or system than it was meant to handle, true support for women in all that they do to rear young and produce good people. If we truly supported mothers, we’d be thinking about the rape and exploitation of our planet – the one really Big Mother we all depend on. We’d quit digging, blasting, boring, deforesting, overpopulating, polluting, bombing, genetically altering, testing nukes, strip mining and dumping our shit all over her.
Forget one day a year to drag out the accolades. Want to impress me? Let me see Mothers being appreciated the other 364 days of the year.