I don’t want a hero. I’m not sad. I don’t want to be pitied, or rescued. My life has more laughter and joy in it than most of the people my age. I have this beautiful gift and everyone sees it as my big…complication. The catch. The “but…”
So everyone, when I do finally find that amazing man who loves me and William, will see him as this…hero. Certainly he will be a hero to me, but just like any wife should view her husband as her hero, and a husband should view any wife as his hero. That is how any marriage should be, making each other better, loving one another, being each other’s rock when times get tough, being a team, going through life and saving each other along the way. Every man and woman should strive to be a hero to somebody else, and certainly in a marriage both people to strive to be each other’s hero.
I can see my wedding now. Obviously, I am not a normal 23 year old because I am a single mom, and have already been married once. So, in those moments when I genuinely let myself dream about marriage and all of that, I think very little about the wedding, if at all. I think about having more babies and a loving husband and giving William another person in his life who loves him. I do hope I get those things one day and I would be lying if I said I didn’t care. I do.
When I think about the wedding though to this now faceless man… It is a mix. Everyone will look at us standing up there saying our vows and given the stigma of the young, single mother… see him as my savior. Instead of knowing he must be an amazing man because I love him and he loves me, and so then he must be great for me and William… He will be great because he swooped in like a knight in shining armour and saved me and William in the moment when no one wanted us. No one wanted us because no one…wants a single mother?
It is hard not to fall into the trap myself sometimes. It is a fine line. I have had a handsome guy buy me a drink at the bar, and seem interested me (this is already debatable) until I am honest: “Well, I have a three old!” His face changes, the body language changes, he tone of voice changes. Sometimes he is shocked and doesn’t try to hide it, other times he tries to hide it but can’t. I mean it is weird because I am surrounded by people my age who don’t have children, and when I am school or grabbing a drink with friends, there really is no way to know I am a mom. Then within the next minute, he thinks he has been polite long enough, “Excuse me I just have to go use the restroom.”
And that’s it. It never ever bothers me because I am always 100% sure that he wasn’t going to be the one, and after that reaction I can be sure he wasn’t the one twofold! I giggle to myself. It happens a lot and it’s sort of like a running joke, because telling men I have a child and judging there first reaction is actually an amazing screening process—and some reactions really are priceless (“I have a baby!” “That’s awesome! I have a three bedroom house!”) It will always come in handy as I find my way through this crazy world of dating.
What is hard though, undeniably, is to have someone you love and who loves you back, bail because you’re a single mom. It’s fair; I wouldn’t want someone who doesn’t love William to stick around anyway. Although—wow. The pain of watching someone you love walk away because your a mom? It is painful. It is indescribable. It contradicts everything I just said because inside you’re begging him, “No! Don’t go! Please be my hero, I will let you be my hero…Please…Love us.”
In a good way, it tests your willingness to sacrifice, because of course William isn’t going anywhere; it isn’t negotiable. He is my my son full-time and he will always be sleeping in the next room. My idea of fun on the weekends will always be going to the pumpkin patch, or taking him bowling on a Friday night. Picnics at the parks, and beach days with the family, reading bed time stories and making pancakes at 6:30 AM on Sunday mornings.
To skip ahead from my musings to this simple idea of blood. It is a little bit nationalistic, egocentric, misogynist, immature, racist, to think that you could never love a child that is not your child via DNA.
If you don’t want a child, that is honorable and good Lord, thank you for your honesty. But if your reasons revolve around ideas of “having power over your family,” or feeling like “he will never be your son,” because you want you kid to resemble you and you are worried that a passerby will automatically know he isn’t your son? That, to me is so dishonourable. That to me is…sort of your problem. When it comes to male dominance and all of that, you rejecting a single mother because she is somehow “tainted” or because a child having a different father somehow undermines your “power,” or that the looks of her child somehow don’t physically allow a stranger to be mislead…
Your misogynistic outlook on family and women… your dreams of a white picket fence…
Maybe they will be the reason you lose the love of your life. Hypothetically, of course.
So I don’t want a hero, or a non-hero. I want a good man who knows how to love, who knows how love works. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. My Aunt Eva told me that one time about marriage. I want a man who appreciates my sacrifices and is willing to sacrifice for me as well. I want someone who wants to work with me, not protect me. A hero is the victim’s protector. You think that after years of single motherhood and protecting myself and my son that I am going to let you swoop in and and make me look like some victim and save the day? No.
One day…I will walk down the aisle and stand next to someone, and people will look at William in his little tuxedo. My new husband and I will raise our hands in the air after we kiss and everyone will throw rice and think to themselves:
Wow, that man is so lucky.