My daughter does not want to marry despite the fact that she dresses up as a bride from time to time. She just doesn't want, at this point in her life, to marry. When the opportunity arose, I asked her why.
"Because being alone is fine. You like being alone, so I think I will like it too."
"Being alone is nice sometimes," I commented, "but it is nice not to be alone too."
And then I was stuck. My daughter sees me happy and content with my life, which I am. For her this means that one is happy and content without being married, which I am. She doesn't see that I would be happy and content in a committed relationship as well. She doesn't see that there are times when I really would like to share the experience of parenting and living, not to mention those times when I crave male companionship and intimacy in all its forms.
There is something that comes with a relationship that is intangible. It is the intimacy that one can't explain, especially to a child. Being on my own is great. I have a house to myself, do my own scheduling, do not divide my attention too much, and have lots of energy and time to give to her. This is what she knows; this is what she likes. For her, my not being in a relationship or married is wonderful as it is for me most of the time.
But not all the time.
There are times, especially over the last year, when I have noted the drawbacks of not having that companion; when I have observed that life seems that much more challenging or more… isolated… without a person with whom I can share it.
As my daughter has watched me enjoying life and making everything work, I have craved a warm embrace at the end of two medical situations. As she skips and dances and plays, I wonder how I will get through the possible deaths of my grandparents in the near future. I will get through it, but how much easier that might be were I able to lean on someone during the process. While she spins, walks on Pointe, and dreams, my heart fills with love and the knowledge that I would love to share it with someone. The Diva notes that sometimes she feels like a parent to me – and I wonder if that isn’t partially because there is no other adult to parent her? Our house and lives run like a well oiled machine most of the time, a machine that depends a lot on team work – hers and mine!
For the most part, I am fine without that other adult in the house. I like my life as it is despite cravings now and again… and the desire to be held or even just to feel that body in the bed next to me. I miss the enrichment that comes from another adult; a differing perspective; a sense of silliness and life that varies from mine.
It is important, to me, that the Diva realize that she can be happy without a relationship. She can be happy doing her own thing. It is also important that she learn that there is much a solid relationship has to offer. The challenge is how to teach her that? How do I teach her or show her the wonders of having a man in the house and in our lives when, well, there really isn’t one around that often?
I believe I am teaching her, in a round about way, to be confident and self sufficient. I am teaching her to love her life regardless of where the path leads… and I am probably teaching her that men are wonderful – they live somewhere else and visit.