Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Silly Boys Online and the Men I'm Raising

It's Tuesday and my last night with the boys until Monday night.  I was going back and forth about what to do when I picked them up but finalized my decision when I picked them up and they grilled me about an absentee ballot I cast a weekend or two ago. I can't control an outcome, but I can decide on my reaction and interpretation.  I decided we were eating out and away from news. This choice looked like traffic after a long day at work.  Kid1 didn't want to go at first, but loved the food so much he wanted to keep the bag we brought our leftovers in so he could tell his friends to try it out.  Kid2 was mellow and happy because he's the adventurous one that loves new tastes.  He'll eat fresh water eel and experiment with sushi. Our next adventure for him is Indian food because he tasted curry in a dip and loved it.  Kid3 was so full of energy from his day and he wanted to excitedly tell me about every moment of it.  He was loud and exuberant.  He made sure I caught and could repeat details.  After the ups and stresses of a full shift, the internet being down for a bit at work, sorting out documents by hand and the highs of random texts that made me smile all day, I was exhausted, but I gave him 110% of what I had for him, digging deep so he didn't feel my deficits.  We got our food and Kid1 and Kid2 were in a silent slurping heaven, with muttered gratitude between bites. Kid3 was immediately nauseous with the smells of Japanese food that doesn't look like sushi.  We all ate a bit faster so he could get home and later complain he's starving.

When my only job was to raise a family as mom, I did all of the cooking at home from scratch.  I seared and simmered over the stove, running to the laundry room to swap loads of clothes or bang through a sink of dishes, breaking my nails that weren't bitten down to the quick.  Help looked like the times we ate out.  We piled into the car and headed to a restaurant I usually didn't like so we could sit quietly, lost in the places our devices allowed us to escape to. Single parenthood means we've made some life style changes and family meals in restaurants took a major hit.

Tonight we went to a restaurant that a friend of mine manages.  He was off, but I wanted to check out what his Kingdom looked like.  He is the boss in way that would be so hot to me if he wasn't gay and therefore not into me. (How into me a man is has a lot to do with my attraction.)  I love that we have the same taste in men and plenty to talk about when we share eye candy moments. He has dark hair and beautiful eyes with the most alluring lilt to his voice.  He's beautiful. He gives the greatest hugs and one day he'll make some man really happy.  And maybe I'm a bit biased towards a man that has fed me more than once.

As we were sitting I watched my boys interact.  I watched their excitement.  I honored a wish to not take pictures of them.  They were discussing politics with phrases they borrowed, but concepts they tied together themselves.  Kid3 believed we could get Kid1 to vote illegally just to contribute their beliefs. It was a moment where I sat in awe of the growing they've done over the last year.  I am so proud of my boys.  I made them with my body!

At that moment . . . at the peak of my happy momma feelings I got a text from a man I had forgotten about.  I don't think I was ever fully into him.  I would have blocked him a lot sooner if I wasn't so amused by his texts.  I directed him to this blog and told him to call me if I didn't scare him away.  He never did call me.

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The laughs keep coming from this one and I did finally block him. I'm usually nicer to men in general but there is nothing about him I would want to protect and I'm not always nice.

I wouldn't call myself a male hater.  I love men. I love the way they look and smell.  I love their strength.  I love the way they think in the direct lines of logic.  I love the way they see things the way I can't.  Ultimately I would love to find a man who I believe in and would be willing to submit to.  It wouldn't be out of fear but out of respect. He wanted to be the Alpha Male, but he was far from my ideal and he didn't get it in the texts I ignored or the kindness I offered in scaring him away with my authenticity here.  I knew it would make him walk.  He's not the droid (or man) I'm looking for.  I never entertained the idea of him meeting my boys and I was never interested in giving up my alone time for him.

My laughter died down and my boys asked what was funny.  I didn't explain that he suggested I might want to call him after insulting me when I wasn't making any effort to be on his radar to begin with. Instead I told them there was a silly boy that thought their mom was dumb or that he meant enough to hurt my feelings.  He just didn't have that power.

I realized that we were in a perfect space as a family.  As mom, I'm raising men to be proud of.  (Still working on those times when Kid3 rage quits.) Apart, I'm sure their Dad is doing better than he ever did as my spouse and I can relax in the knowledge that we're doing right by them.  I don't have to worry about them when I don't have custody.

As far as dating, setting that bar really high and raising it with each solid man that I meet, whether or not he's the one for me, is the right choice.  I was having a moment in the last few days, wondering if maybe the bar is too high.  I got my answer yesterday, and no, it's not too high.  I could probably even raise it to match the man that's been making me smile like a blushing idiot all day. (I don't intimidate him.) Deciding on what I want and knowing when I'm not looking at it feels powerful. I don't feel powerful in a dominant aggressive way, but in the way where I get to control my life, unmoved by insignificance.  I don't have to believe someone else's value of me because I know who I'm showing up as to myself and to the only boys that really matter to me - the ones that are part of me and grew strong right under my heart.

I think about who I was a handful of years ago.  This boy might have hurt my feelings back then.  I've never met him in person and we never had much to discuss through text.  He read enough of my blog to feel threatened enough to do more than just fade away.  It broke whatever false kindness he thought was enough for me to offer something he wasn't even worthy enough to look at.  Call it ego.  I know my worth.  Once upon a time, I might have valued his opinion with only a glimpse of my personality through my words, and it might have mattered more than my desires for my life.  That's insane to me now.  I like that it's so crazy because this life I get to lead is that important to me.

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