To the moms of my future sons’ in law:

I have five daughters. Oh, God. I have five daughters. Now, I’ve had 9 years to realize this, why it’s not hitting me fully until today, I’m not sure. Oh, wait. I was talking to Abby again. Which got me thinking. Of course.

Abby is 14 and just now starting to think about men. Woah, don’t I mean boys? No, I was right the first time. Because Abby has decided that boys her age are too immature and informed be this morning that she has drawn an age line. No one under 19. “Age is just a number, Mom.” She was looking at me carefully, expecting me to flip and tell her “hell no, 19 is way too old.” Instead, I took this approach.

Well, Abby, I say. You are absolutely correct. Age is just a number. HOWEVER! “Abby, you have just contradicted yourself. By drawing your line at 19, you have given age importance. How do you know you won’t meet a mature 15 year old someday? And on top of that, what if your 19 year old is immature? If you truly believe age is just a number, you need to realize that you are restricting yourself with your own line.”

Somehow, she got was I was trying to say. Right now that doesn’t change anything, but she will think about it, it will fester in her head and grow and will turn into something that was her idea to begin with. I know this, because that’s how things work around here.

We ended the conversation there, but nagging questions popped into MY head. Who ARE these men that will have the honor of my girls’ love? WHERE are they? Will they be worthy?

What I DO know is that they aren’t the boys who currently hang around my house. The ones who come over late in the evening after I’ve gone to work. The ones who steal cigarettes and have their older friends buy them alcohol. You, young men, who show up high, bragging, and looking just plain dumb. Yes, I know you are there. I know EVERYTHING. Because we talk. And we are laughing. Just a warning. 🙂

But this is new territory for me. I am learning my way here just as my girls are. Each new encounter and experience they have is also a new one for me. How does a mom do it?

I think the foundation is there, and its implementation was completely accidental. My older girls have seen me struggle with my own choices in men. In as large of a household as we have, it was impossible to miss. They had questions and I was honest. If a relationship wasn’t working for me, they wanted to know why. And I told them.

And so what has happened is that they’ve seen me choose to be alone rather than with the wrong man. It remains to be seen if that carries over into their own lives. But I have a very, very big concern. If I can’t find a good guy, what are THEIR chances?

I’m wondering if the Baby Boomers were the last of the real men. Of course, I am thinking of my own father here, and his relationship with my mom. Here’s a man who knows how to get things done. And how to treat the women in his life; in his case, a wife, two daughters and five grand-daughters, with love and respect. Why can’t I find that in my own age group? And if I can’t find it, how the hell are my girls supposed to when the boys are being raised by parents of MY generation?

My point is this: Parents need to talk to their kids more. And moms tend to have a much larger responsibility in this, because we are a generation of divorce. And the kids are more often being raised by Mom. The boys that I mentioned earlier are ALL children of divorce and either being raised by mom alone, or by mom and her boyfriend.

So this is for those moms: Do you know that your sons are smoking, doing drugs and drinking? Do you know they are having sex and are hanging around my girls in the hopes of getting more? Do you know this is happening in your neighborhood, on your street? Because your neighborhood is my neighborhood. I know, why don’t you?

Step it up, moms of my daughters’ future men! Talk to your boys and teach them there is life besides computers and PlayStations, that girls are to be respected and cherished. Teach them some responsibility and how to be men. Then maybe, just maybe, one of your boys will be good enough for one of my girls. Then together we can interrupt this circle we are stuck in and get back to the way it should be. Then maybe everything will fall into place.

I promise you I will do the same with my girls. Then maybe we can accomplish something as Moms, single or not.


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