As a young woman, I didn’t go through that boy-crazy stage. I skipped it. I certainly was not interested in girls, but I wasn’t really interested in boys either. I just didn’t care. I remember watching all of my friends go through this magical transformation and wondered why I didn’t feel that way. I used to make up crush’s I had on various boys just to fit in. I remember “liking” one boy and having my friends torment him until he asked me out. I was mortified. I didn’t care for him at all, I had just made it up.
After thinking about it, I believe it was a coping mechanism. My mom had abandoned my sister and I when I was the ripe age of 12. Right at that point when you start to develop into the woman you will become. I had no one to teach me how to be a woman, I had no one to look up to. My mom had been sleeping with multiple men for years without my dads knowledge. But I knew. I knew I didn’t want to be like her, and sex meant being like my mom and liking boys was the first step towards sex.
So I never wore makeup, or worked hard at looking cute. I never cared if boys noticed me, I didn’t care about going to dances or on dates. Going to school was a means to and end, not a social feedbag. I took care of my sister, I raised my sister through her teen years. I was her model for womanhood, as flawed and clueless as I was. I assumed the role of mother. I didn’t have time for boys, or sex or the development of that side of myself.
I was not able to go to an out-of-town college, I stayed home to take care of my sister and work to support her. One day I was hanging out with my friend, her boyfriend and some of his friends. One of the boys looked at my friend and said, “You are so beautiful!” I chimed in with, “Hey, what about me? ” and he said, “You’d be a great mother.” Which I suppose is a compliment of sorts, but it hurt, it stung and has always lingered with me. I would never be the girl anyone thought of as cute, or pretty or sexy. Just motherly, which isn’t to say that is a bad thing, but I never was cute, or pretty or sexy. I skipped that whole phase of personal development. This week the students at school asked me if I had any kids. (I haven’t told them yet) And I smiled and said, “no, not yet….why?” thinking they were on to me…. They replied, “Oh we were just wondering because you seem so mom-like.” Every year someone in my class remarks that they wish that I was their mom, or that I would make a great mom. I have had a really hard time accepting that as a compliment, probably because it stung so much the first time anyone said that to me, and because I always assumed I would never be a mom.
But here I am. 3 months pregnant, and “you’d be a great mother ” is a compliment I am going to have to accept and cherish.