Until recently, I didn't know too many good men. I realized they existed, but usually for someone else. Then I met one.
But I am also the mother of two boys. Two boys who's father is non-existent. Two boys who don't remember much of life with him in it. I have one goal in life. Just one.
I will raise these two boys into good men. I have had too many experiences with useless men, childish men, boys. These two will be good men.
Lately, opportunities have presented themselves for the first seeds to be planted.
Last night, I spoke with my oldest about what it means to be a good man.
"Remember to be nice to her. Ask her questions. Be sweet." I said.
"And honesty, right Mom??"
"That's the most important thing of all," I agreed. "Even if what you have to say will make her upset, always be honest. Remember to be kind when you tell a girl something that she doesn't want to hear."
"Ok, Mom, I will. I promise."
Do I honestly think this one conversation, at age 7, will be enough? Of course not, but it's a start.
We talked about "hot" girls. I explained to him that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and I told him what that means. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him that there are some people who think I'm "hot." Thankfully, my self-esteem isn't tied to a child's reaction about my beauty - his look of disbelief would have been a crushing blow otherwise.
This morning, these future men and I clowned around. Tickling, laughing, being silly. Before we left to run the roads for the day, they were in my bedroom, hugging me and holding on to me.
"Would you like to learn to slow dance?"
Quiet giggles. "Sure, Mom."
I got him into position and hummed. I didn't tell him that I've only slow danced one time in my life and I think I was 12. I didn't tell him that I wasn't sure if I was leading or if I was letting him lead. I knew that didn't matter. We danced in a slow circle around my bedroom until he realized he was dancing with his mom. My youngest enjoyed it much more, but that might have been because I held him in my arms.
For all of my sexual transformation in the past several months, for all of my sexual hunger, my sexual needs and desires, what I long for is what I had for a brief shining moment in life - a good man. I can't have that right now. But I can make sure that a future generation has two good men to count on. They don't know it yet, but I'm not going to give them much choice. These precious little boys will grow to be men. Maybe they will go through the phase most (or all) men go through of breaking hearts and playing around. But at the end of the day, they will become the men that their father isn't. I won't accept anything less.