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March 4, 2012

Mothers, Sons & Lessons in Love

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/mothers_sons_lessons_in_love_20120304/

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My heart has been broken.  When my father died it broke in a way that it will never recover from.  There is the heartbreak of loss and sorrow, and the heartbreak of love.  Both take your breath away and you are certain you will never recover.  While my heart will never be the same without the sound of father’s voice to fill it, God willing I will find love again.

I am a girl and therefore have an unrealistic view of love.  I am a hopeless romantic who believes love is available to everyone who wants it.  There is nobody unworthy of love, and the search for my beshert had been as much about loving myself as finding someone to love me.  I am a good person, a great partner, and am of the belief that any man would be lucky to be in my life and have me love him.

Perhaps I’ve seen too many romantic comedies, read too many Harlequin romance novels, or spent too much time watching Lifetime television for women, but I am a girl to the core which means when it comes to love, I am crazy.  Girls are insane about matters of the heart and we all know that’s true so no point in trying to deny it.  Love is grand and also very complicated.

By complicated of course I mean we will never understand it.  The most simple of gestures are the most romantic and love filled to me.  When a man touches my hair, calls for no reason, guides me through a door, or tells me I am a good mother, I can feel my heart flutter.  Love is divine and it’s a blessing from God that we are able to survive heartache and find love again.

I am a believer in love and think the best thing we can do when looking for love, or in love, is be brave.  I am a master communicator and very brave when it comes to sharing what I want and need, in addition to what I value and appreciate.  The man I love never needs to guess what I am thinking because I will tell him.  Being brave is an important tool in love and in life.

I have taught my son to be brave.  He is young and not a fully confident human being yet, but he will get there, and he will be brave.  He knows to fight for not only what he wants, but what is right. I love my child more than anything else and he is my priority.  My heart is wrapped up in my son and it beats because of him.  I could not love him more and I work hard at being a good mom.

We are very close.  It’s been him and me for his entire life and while he has a great friendship with his dad, it’s different from the bond we share.  My son does not have the type of relationship with his dad where he goes to him for matters of the heart.  He comes to me, which I love.  We are protective of each other, brave when it comes to our communication, and there is no fear.

He can tell me anything and everything, and he usually does.  I am honest with him and it has created a true friendship.  My worry however, is that at this stage of his life, is a woman the best person to be giving him advice on love?  I am the perfect person to teach him how to treat a lady, but perhaps not the best person to teach him how to get a lady.

I cannot bear the thought of him going through a heartbreak, but it’s coming, and often, so shouldn’t I prepare him? Can I prepare him? With no man in my life to go to for guidance, it is up to me to teach him, but I worry that my mushy and romantic heart will not give him the right answers.  A single mom can raise a son to be a mensch, but can she raise him to be a man?

When my son asks for my opinion on girls I advise him from the perspective of a girl because I don’t know the perspective of a man.  If I did I’d be selling that info for a gazillion dollars.  I think that is doing him a disservice.  How can he get a realistic view of love and heartbreak?  I am raising a wonderful man without the benefit of testosterone and I am worried about that.

My son has seen me with a broken heart.  He eased my pain when I lost my father, and supported me through the end of two relationships.  He is calming, funny and wise.  He values me as a human being and will not allow me to settle for someone who does not also value me.  I am a better woman having raised this man, and it’s scary to think I might give him bad love advice.

My son has a very close group of friends and they talk about women and relationships, but they are kids, and boys, so it’s the blind leading the blind.  There should be a Big Brother program for single moms to call and get help in talking about women to their sons.  They can guide us in how to raise our sons to be good men, without the benefits of having testosterone.

My job for the past 16 years has been to protect this wonderful boy.  I shield him from pain and sadness, but when it comes to affairs of the heart, there is no protection.  He will have to deal with heartache like we all do.  Whether you are 16 or 46, heartache is the same.  It is consuming, hurtful, suffocating and sad.  It is impossible to see the light when you are deep in the tunnel.

When it comes to love, the best thing I can do for my son is to stop talking and just listen.  He will find his way.  I can’t help him avoid the pitfalls, but I can catch him when he falls.  Love is heaven and love is hell.  It is the same for everyone.  By the same of course I mean it is completely different for men than it is for women. There is no escaping cupid’s arrow.  Thank God!

My son is a terrific human being.  He is kind and sensitive, funny and smart.  He is beginning his love affair with love and I wish him the best.  I will sit back and stand by should he need me, and stay busy making voodoo dolls of the girls who dare to hurt my baby.  I’m just kidding. Not kidding.  Kidding.  Not.  I will continue to teach my son to be brave, and keep the faith.

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