The Funny Thing

A phone conversation.
laughterA phone conversation.

"You're judging me because I don't have children. That's really ignorant." His voice is outraged.
I have no idea what to say here. I'm not judging him in the least. He is a comedian. He spends most of his time staring at himself in the mirror telling jokes. He isn't trying to be funny. He is dead serious.

"I think you have some nerve to think I am less than you since I don't have children..." What? Of course I don't think that. I think you are a bit of an ass due to you telling me you never want to take care of anyone or anything, not a plant, a goldfish or even your own apartment and that you think it is stupid for anyone to want to take care of anyone. I am trying to stay calm.

I sigh. I don't feel I owe Mr. NotFunny an explanation but I give one. "My whole life has been that of a caregiver. I have children. I work in a group home taking care of people. I welcome anyone who needs a moment of care. I have had a half dozen kids or adults stay with me when the world has gotten too much and when they have no one else. I don't think that makes me better than you in the least. I simply cannot understand where you are coming from and the distaste in your voice over me having children appalls me."

Mr. NotFunny continues, "Oh, one more thing. I really like your feet. When do you want to get together? I have this thing about feet..."

Silence on my end. Stunned silence.

"See? You're judging again!"

I get angry, "Don't ever contact me again." I hung up. He never called again and I am thankful.

Not everyone should have children or even wants children or is able to have children. That's okay. However, I am a package deal. I have children, several, and it ain't easy. Even if I don't have my own children around at times, I have other people's children. It is a rare occasion to be alone anywhere in this apartment. I realize it is a hard thing for anyone to take, to understand or to even consider being part of. It's my life. It is what I do. It is a part of who I am. I don't hold anything against anyone who wants no part of me or my brood.

I don't expect anyone to walk into my life and become utterly taken with my kids. I don't expect a man to be in wonder over the wonders God gave me. Half the time I stand right in the center of it all and wonder what the heck I am doing here. My kids are unusual and unique and strange and interesting. They make me a crazy a lot of the time, yet, they are the most interesting people I have ever known. I am sure they will have conniption fits over me writing this if ever they bothered to read it.

Recently, the unexpected happened. A man came back into my life and met them for the first time. He has no children. It made me a bit nervous as other parents can scare me enough, but those who have no wild things of their own, make me wary...especially meeting my brood.

"They're amazing! I love your girls!" Wow. That threw me completely. He saw what I see. He saw their fieriness, their passion, their intelligence and their picture of the world they live in. It amazed me because a lot of people do not see that right away.

I get nervous at the thought of most men meeting my children. It is one of the reasons that I rarely introduce them. It isn't because I find my children so distasteful-I truly don't. I find them to be extraordinary. I just know not everyone will see it that way. The funny thing is, they are an awful lot like me.

"They are you! I see you in them." That's what he said. I appreciate that thought very much.

It isn't easy being a single mother or father dating in this life. It never is a choice of just what I want. Decisions are never only about me and the focus of a relationship cannot be solely on that relationship but instead on every person involved or affected by the relationship. There are a lot of people who cannot understand this and there are just as many who do not want to be involved in that. I'm okay with that, as long as I find out in the beginning.

I don't really care if someone has children or not, just don't expect me to throw mine away. Nor do I want someone to date me based on how my pretty my feet are. There is much more to me than that.

Monika M. Basile