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Jewish Journal

Son, Sex, Single Mom

by Ilana Angel

July 11, 2013 | 4:38 pm

The sad truth is that when it comes to sex, I write about it more than I participate in it.  It is a shame because I am at an age where I feel most accepting of my body, and what I bring to a relationship in terms of my sexuality, yet there is nobody to have sex with.  Of course there are men to have sex with, but when sex matters to you on an emotional level, sex on a physical level is not that appealing. 

I have a healthy view of sex.  I appreciate the value it brings to a relationship, and like how I feel about myself when I am appreciated and admired by the man I am intimate with. It is a powerful drug and I respect it.  I believe I have raised my son with that same respect. More than just something you do, sex requires feelings, and I want him to value it, value himself, and value the women he sleeps with.

The average age people lose their virginity in America is 17. My son is 17. Hang on, I’m having difficulty breathing.  I remember when he was born, when he told me loved me for the first time, when he learned how to ride a bike, and when he got his drivers license. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that the little baby I raised by myself, is reaching an age where sex will become part of his life. Important to note that my son is anything but average, so I could assume he will lose his virginity much later than 17.  I could assume this in the same way that you could assume the thought of my son being old enough to do grown up things makes me want to drink.  By drink of course I mean open a bottle of tequila and put a straw in it.  No need for a glass, just get to the numbing booze quickly.

We have always had a close relationship.  We talk about love, loss, sex, and the emotions that come with it.  He has seen me cry, and helped heal my broken heart with love, kindness, and compassion. When you have a woman, raising a boy to be man, he is going to see it all in terms of emotions.  I decided when he was young that hiding things from him was not a good idea, and we would learn together. My son knows I am emotional, vulnerable, and let’s be honest, crazy.  Not because I am crazy, but because I am a girl, and we are all a little crazy. He sees me sad, stressed, happy, laughing, thoughtful, spiritual, kind, and mean. He is well versed in how to deal with a woman on her period, and been taught to question, believe, pray, dream, and to have sex only when his partner wants the same thing.

My son is about to head into his senior year of high school, and no matter how much I pray he will wait until after college to have sex, it will happen at some point, and regardless of when that is, I will not be ready.  Raising a boy by yourself is hard.  We have the special bond of mothers and sons, and one that is unique to us.  He is my child, friend, confidant, and inspiration.  He is also becoming a man. When your son engages in adult behavior, he will look at you one day and see an adult, not just a parent, so he will wonder what adult behavior you are engaging in.  It is an odd feeling. As a single mother, talking about sex, drugs, love, politics, heartache, death, and the future with your child is difficult.  Especially when that child is a boy.  I want him to be balanced, which is challenging on my own.

I want my son to find a woman worthy of his heart.  Statistically, he will not marry the woman he loses his virginity to, but that does not mean he should respect her any less than the woman he one day marries.  I want him to gently step into adulthood, not run.  I want him to feel safe in our relationship so he can share things with me, and I want to able to listen and support his choices without developing a twitch in my eye.  When you have a child you always want the next step of life to come quickly, but when it does, you wish you could go back.  That is the funny thing about being a parent. Time flies by.  One minute you are changing diapers, and in the blink of an eye you are car shopping with the kid whose diapers you changed, and praying he has listened to your preaching, nagging, and praying. 

You can’t wait for them to talk, then wish they would be quiet.  You want them to walk, then wish they would sit down.  You schlep them everywhere, wish they could drive, then wish they failed the diving test.  When they grow up you can’t wait for them to experience life, but wish they could experience it from home for just a little bit longer.  Being a single mother magnifies all these things. I look back on my years as a mother and am proud of myself for raising such a remarkable human being.  I have not done it perfectly, but my son loves me and tells me how much every day.  I have presented him with our faith in a way that he embraces it for himself, which is a proud accomplishment because it has been one of the most challenging aspects of being a single mother.

As my son gets older we will talk less and less about sex. That is how life works and to be honest, I am not sad about it.  It is awkward to teach your kids about sex, and both sad and excting to watch them transition from childhood to adulthood.  He will start to make more of his own choices, and a year from now he will be away at college, without my watchful eyes on him everyday.  All I can do is hope he does the right thing, and that I am able to mind my own business. One day his wife will tell me I did a good job raising such a wonderful man and I will be very proud. I hope my son will look back at his childhood and be proud of me too.  Our life is blessed, we are adjusting to this next phase together, and everything will be okay because we are keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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