At the park today there was a mom with three kids, and we got to talking, and I am pretty sure she’s another fully single mom. (This is what I’m calling SMBC for now, since if you recall, I don’t like the SMBC label.) She was using “my” and “I” instead of “our” and “we” and she presented herself like a woman who has absolutely no interest whatsoever in attracting men (this is a look everyone knows, although there’s not a term for it, but I’d call it, like, normcore butch-lite). Plus, there’s just a vibe. I’m like 90% sure. But I didn’t ask, because how do you even ask that? There should be like a signal or something.
Why does it matter? Well, it matters for two reasons: most importantly, I really want for Edith to know some other kids who don’t have dads (or don’t have moms) as she is growing up, so she doesn’t feel like she’s the only one. And yes, I know a lot of kids don’t have dads, but they all actually do — even if their dads suck and vanished, they still exist. I want Edith to know some other kids who just don’t have them at all.
And secondly, I would really like to know some other women like me. I have always wanted this. I would really like to know some other people who are perfectly happy and whole outside of the context of romantic relationships and who intentionally started their own families — not from a sense of lack or loss, not as a plan B, not as making the best of a bad lot, but joyfully and intentionally, because it’s authentically who they are. This doesn’t describe all fully single moms, but I’m finding that it describes a whole lot of them.
I had given up a long time ago on finding this, but since having Edith, I’ve realized that I’m not actually alone — there are a lot of women like me, and they are all over the place. I had previously thought having kids on your own was rather a privileged white woman thing to do, but I now know from Facebook that there are women starting their own families all over the world, from every conceivable economic background, of every race and ethnicity, in major cities and rural villages. There are a bunch in Austin, and I hope eventually to meet them. And there is maybe even one just over in the next neighborhood, here in Kyle.