A number of years ago, a colleague told me that I was the most feminine woman he had ever met. I took that with amusement, confusion, and a little bit of offense. I asked him what made him think that, and he just smiled and walked away. He was weird, no question. (He once told me that the Jews were right to prohibit men from having sex with women during their menses. Not because it was dirty, but because women hold too much power during that time of the month. o.O)
I've wondered off and on what made him think that, and also what made him actually say it. And it always comes back to what is femininity? If it's being quiet and demure, that's not me. (Anyone who knows me in real life can stop laughing now. This means you, Erin). No one could think that. If it's wearing pink dresses, again, I fail. I'm a jeans and t-shirts with a plaid flannel over top. I regularly wear comfy sandals. I abhor makeup, and perfume is of the devil. I mean, I could easily be mistaken for a lesbian if we're going to play the stereotypes game. So I'm assuming it wasn't my appearance. So what the hell?
I think now that he was talking about how maternal I am. I am a Mom. I have been a Mom since I was 2 and was given dolls to play with. They were NEVER my friends. I was always the mom. I took care of them like they were my babies, and if my brother ever got hold of them, I pounded him. I fretted while my teddy bear was in the washing machine. When my friends and I played house, I played the mommy, every time. I hated being the baby. I didn't know what to do.
Now I have three kids of my own, and I am fiercely protective of them. I try terribly to let them make mistakes and learn from them, but it's different with autism. Learning from one's mistakes doesn't really work for them. Crackle has fallen off the coffee table more times than I can count. One would think he'd learn not to climb up there, but no.
And also, it's dreadfully easy to take advantage of or abuse a kid with autism. So I'm vigilant. I'm keeping Crackle out of Kindergarten and putting him in a Distributed Learning course (it's responsible to the Ministry of Education, lest you think I'm a crazy homeschooler with no curriculum plan, teaching about how God makes the tide come in every day). The school board pretty much admitted they couldn't keep him safe in a classroom full of gluten (He has Celiac Disease and a wheat allergy), so he's staying home with me. Which, frankly, sucks. I love my kids, but I could use a break for a few hours a day. My house might stop looking like a hurricane ran through it. And I might relax a tad.
And you know, it's not just my kids. There's a young man of 21 who is terribly sick. He's had a number of health problems growing up, his Mom died when he was fairly young, and his dad is an asshole of EPIC proportions. I mean, think of the biggest SOB you know and then give him the arrogance of a doctor. That's his Dad. This boy, and he really is a boy, is sick. I mean, he just got out of ICU where they had him in a coma. He weighs about 65 lbs. They sent him home because they didn't want him to get an infection, and hey, his dad is a doctor. Except that his father left him alone and fucked off to Las Vegas for over a week. I am shaking with rage about this. And I have never met the boy. A dear friend of mine is looking after him (his dad is her ex-somethingorother) because he texted and asked for company. I'm dying to help. I want to get him out of there. I want to bring him here and just mother him. Heal him, feed him, fatten him up.
So if my former colleague meant that I was the most maternal woman he ever met, I'll take that as a compliment. I like being a Mom.