Little odds and ends:
It's my eldest son's birthday- he was born on Earth Day. I tried so, so hard to raise him well, particularly when he was young....bought educational toys for him, kept him away from television, read countless books to him, talked to him as if he were an actual person as opposed to a cute blob of flesh. Even when he was an infant, I talked to him instead of doing the stupid goo-goo sounds some women make to babies. Read all sorts of books about how to raise an intelligent, well adjusted baby, fed him organic food, took him on bicycle rides and walks, talking to him as we walked about what we saw...explained that even though dogs varied in size, color and shape, they were all still dogs... I raised him around gardens and animals, tried to instill in him a wonder and respect for life and nature. Taught him how to read, gave him art lessons that were supposed to also develop his brain, homeschooled him; when he was put into public school in fourth grade, he had already read the Tolkein books and so many others. Maybe I tried too hard. He was so smart, learned so quickly. Meanwhile, I was unnecessarily hard on his younger brother, not knowing the poor kid had ADD. I can only say that although I made a lot of mistakes, particularly with men, I really tried as hard as I could to do everything right.
Men- Why did I do that? Why? Partly, because I had been taught that women could not say no, that saying no would wound a man's ego beyond repair and also, it was dangerous to defy or refuse a man. I had been trained to be nice and submissive at all costs. What a crock. A very, very expensive crock at that.
But also, Daniel Haugen's death left such a hole in me. I had never been treated so kindly, so gently, by anyone, had never felt so cherished. The thought of spending an entire life marking off time until I finally died myself was awful beyond words. Anything, anything to make that ache, that hole, go away for a little while, to find some spot of hope. It wasn't until I was about the age he'd been when I met him that I realized there was something very wrong about a 35 year old getting engaged to a 17 year old...that for a man that age to drop an innocent, vulnerable girl without any kind of decent explanation was really irresponsible and flaky at best. I guess I clung to the memory of him for so long because I had to believe that someone, at sometime, had really cared for me, treated me well....even if maybe that was a lie.