24 April 2006

Oma's Advice

Monday 24Apr06 10pm

I always believed I would marry. My dream was to have three children -
two boys because I really like boys and a daughter as a middle child
because every woman should have a daughter. I wanted her as the middle
child so she wouldn't really suffer from middle child syndrome
sandwiched between two boys. The older boy would be special because he
was the first boy and the youngest boy would be special because he was
the baby. I had it all figured out.

Now at 42 years old and no biological clock to speak of, I believe I
may eventually live with someone and children are not in the cards
unless I adopt. I still wish I made enough money to adopt Justin ( a
child I worked with when I was a Child and Youth Worker) 13 years ago.
Justin is 25 years old now and I've lost track of him.

As a child when I said I wanted to be a writer my family told me that
it was a nice hobby but I needed to choose a career. I've wandered
aimlessly trying to find a career that could support my writing hobby.
Through the stress of dysfunctional co-workers and often borderline
abusive bosses I'd nearly given up on my dream. People, friends, family
members, will tell you things to help you to avoid the pain they've
lived through. They tell you things because they love you. Most times
they are best to follow their own advice and stay the heck out of your

My mother always wanted to be a country singer like Charley Pride
(first African American to play the Grand Ole Opry). I know she wanted
me to be financially secure. She couldn't have known that I would feel
broken, not knowing what I wanted to do other than writing of course.

My Oma (Dutch for Grand mother) was the only adult that liked that I
wanted to be a writer and she encouraged my dream. She gave me my first
writing magazine at the time called, "Canadian, Author and Bookman."
She told me that she had to give up her dream to be a housewife and
care for her husband and children. There was a sigh that said that
despite the joy her children and grandchildren gave her , if things
were different, things would be different.

With her biological grand children she always encouraged marriage. The
discussions were about what jewelery would be passed down to them prior
to their weddings. She encouraged me, on the other hand, to wait until
later in life before I got married. There was more than enough time.
"You don't want to give up your dreams because of a man."

Considering how old fashioned her beliefs were her advice to me was
like she could see into my future. I was going to be a late bloomer or
better yet I was going to follow my own self imposed norm. I never
could understand the expectation that a woman should be a constant
follower to her husband's every whim. I couldn't understand how a woman
had to subtly manipulate a man into believing that he had come up with
an idea that she had actually come up with. All those games were tiring
to me. I couldn't stand that my brother got special privileges because
he was a boy there was no way that I was going to live with a man who
made all the decisions.

Had I married young I probably would have given up on writing
altogether. Had I started out as a writer without the multitude of jobs
and experiences I've had I definitely wouldn't have the ideas I have

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