Sunday, January 11, 2009

Girly Man

During our recent storm here, I found myself a little anxious. This is a regular occurrence that I experience (and have heard from other single moms) when things are out of the norm...meaning power outages, snowdrifts, freezing temps, floods, (probably) locusts, etc., put us a little on edge. I find myself hypervigilant during these times, feeling like I especially need to protect my daughter from the elements, make sure I keep the household going inside and out, have emergency supplies, etc. It's just little old me against a whole bunch of bad possibilities.

Some people watch the snow fall, lazily nursing a hot toddy or peppermint chocolate: I spend my time looking furtively with an eye tic, thinking of the million ways we could die.

So during our severe weatherage, I had a pipe burst outside and, in the subsequent Three Stooges-esque scramble to get the water main turned off, among other concerns, I came to the conclusion that I make a lousy guy. I didn't know what I was doing and I was overwhelmed and, frankly, all the guys I know would not have started bawling in frustration as I did after one thing tripped another and another and another.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me feel especially alone, even though my ex was the kind of guy who would have just said, "Call a plumber." There is something to be said for having another adult in the area to which you could comment, "Doesn't this just suck?" And he'd say, "It sure does suck." And you both could eyeball the damage together and agree on the suckitude of the situation.

So...Cathy wrote about our looking to get that safety net established and firmly entrenched for ED. I am piggybacking on her blog entry here simply because my plumbing story is so incredibly common. And it's not just plumbing we're interested in--We're looking to share knowledge across the board. I'm a firm believer that we all have something valuable to's just a matter of organization. It's the old adage of teaching a man to fish--do we solve an immediate crisis, or do we also instruct on how to prevent or fix something for the long-term? My vote is for both. There is a lot to be said for instructing and encouraging single moms on a number of fronts, from changing a tire to bleeding a pipe, from stopping a leak to starting a class. While we all may remain girly men, in the nicest sense of the term, we also become stronger women and moms who get that graceful balance of asking for help and showing our kids what we're made of.

What knowledge do you have to share?

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