Indeed, if she wasn't so busy being a
But since she is so over-scheduled, we will skip the book and hit the highlights.
Remember that fierce and significant silence regarding the Opposite Sex? The single mother, as in: single. Without Man. No Tall Dark and Winsome in sight.
Young Miss grew up with the complete and utter certainty that women--specifically mothers--were in charge of Absolutely Everything On This Planet.
If the oil needed changing or a fuse popped, Young Miss's Mother attended to said task. Shoveling? Flat tire? Done.
Income, health insurance, food and clothing for four people even when you originally signed on for Marriage, which meant laundry and lunch and the general domestic shuffle (financed by someone else)?
Got that covered, too.
Not only did the Matron not going looking for a husband or reek of desperation at thirty, she honestly did not understand the entire concept of such Need in the first place. Love sort of stumbled upon her. But she was not shopping for marriage.
Nor did the Matron particularly desire children.
Because Young Miss's Mother was perpetually locked in Desperate Struggle for Survival, children seemed like oh so many roadblocks. Big fat balls and chains, mouths to feed and all that sort of trouble.
Young Miss nurtured this theory regarding children for several years, then approached her mother.
Young Miss: "If you knew then, what you know now --- like how hard it is to raise children alone - -- would you have kept us or given us to Dad?"
Mother: "I probably would've never had you in the first place. Certainly, I would've let your father take you."
Good to have that cleared up now, wasn't it?
That conversation ---seared onto the Matron's memory (and even though she will agree that memory is selective and Freud reigns, that exact exchanged transpired) meant that children were not only unnecessary, but absolute DOOM.
So Young Miss never pined or planned for offspring.
Indeed, after one woozy bottle of wine, she and her new husband had a laughing conversation about Contraceptive Russian Roulette and how everyone else seemed to love children (of course, they didn't).
After ten minutes of serious planning for the future while under the influence of Pinot Noir, they decided that if they did not use birth control and conceived within the next few minutes, they were destined to be parents.
Please do not imagine the phone call three weeks later.
Youngish Miss: "You cannot believe this! I am @$@%% pregnant. Oh my %$#$#% God. I have not finished my #$#%% dissertation! What are we going to do!?"
Youngish Miss: "You there! It's your fault, too!"
Another thing the Matron learned from her mother?
You look fine without make-up. There was none of that stuff in the house. The Matron still does not understand mascara. The wand looks like a vehicle of Medieval Torture.
And, you need this:Education was the gold ticket out. Young Miss's mother picked up household and moved across the state to complete her education - a single parent with children 9, 8, and 5. That makes her more of a rock star than Bono.
Finally, the Young Miss understood that no matter how flawed or complex, there was nothing compared to Mother Love.
Forget that sun. Solar eclipse or moon showers.
There's your mama.
The Young Miss was 7 years old. She and her little sister (6) went to the neighbor's house. The parents were conveniently not home. The boys -- ages 10 and 12 -- harnessed little sister and told Young Miss that unless she returned with A BUCKET OF TOYS they would stab that sister and kill her.
This might seem like hyperbole except -- those boys? They were holding butcher knives.
Young Miss scrambled home in terror, looking for bucket and toys. Weeping and shaking, utterly undone.
It took her Mother about eight seconds to figure out what was going on. Mother stormed through the yard, into the neighbor's house, liberated her youngest daughter and turned those boys over her 27-year old knee to render those bottoms beet red, near bloody.
Then, she called the police and had those children arrested.
To this day, the Matron understands the value of terror and maternal rage.
Thank you, Mom.
So when a dear friend's daughter was being tortured -- tormented -- for FIVE years by one mean and unhappy boy-child (who the Matron knew well because she volunteered in the classroom and the Montessori system means you can be with one bad egg for a decade) and dear friend's daughter was so rightfully miserable the Matron nearly wept at her feet. . . . the Matron did this.
The children were heading out of the classroom to bus and parent in one long line. She pulled aside said unhappy and mean boy-child.
Matron: "I know what you're doing to X."
Matron: "I am watching you every single second. Even when I'm not there. I have eyes in the back of my head. If you hurt her, I know."
Boy: "You're lying."
Here, the Matron firmly holds Boy's arm and looks into his eyes with a gaze that makes burning in Hell seem like a fine time, a good idea.
Matron: "No. I am magic. You will never understand. I know what you are doing to X and if you do it again, I will come after you. I will get you. I will make sure everyone in the world knows how mean you are to X. I will get you. And it will be horrible."
This was totally unacceptable parental behavior. Politically incorrect. Mean. Really, we should have called his mother.
He never, ever bothered that little girl again.
Thank you, Mama. Dearest?