I was in a car accident today. Nothing serious; just a simple fender bender (or in my case, a metal post that got all up in my grill) one of those silly things that happen when you’re distracted or in a rush. Unfortunately, the Mom Mobile will be immobile for a week or so but the good folks at Levett Auto be providing me with a courtesy car that will have me terrorizing the streets again in no time.
I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m a bad driver – two minor accidents in 25 years, neither of which I was found at fault- but whenever something like this happens, my first instinct is to call my ex-husband. I may be the crisis communications expert, but he was the one who could stay level-headed & action-oriented when faced with a personal crisis. He also handled all of our financial matters – banking, investments, tax planning – so when we separated, I was like a fish out of water dealing with my money. Frankly, I used to spend my money until it was gone, or in the case of my first chequing account, when it wasn’t even there. Granted, I was a very well-dressed fish, but often in debt.
Being on my own, I’ve pulled together a few rudimentary investment skills with the help of my Girls Gone Rich investment-savvy friends, my long-time financial advisor (my ex & I continue to work with the same advisor) and an app called Black Book that helps to keep me on budget each month (OK, most months, because sometimes Visconti & du Reau boots MUST be bought). There are still some things that I’m learning to do on my own, household-type matters that my ex would normally attend to, but I feel my confidence in tackling these once intimidating tasks growing daily. I haven’t quite figured out how to build an IKEA bookshelf, but apparently a monkey can do it so there is hope for me yet.
I read a quote from Dr. Peggy Drexler, a gender expert and author of two fantastic books on modern families including “Raising Boys without Men: How Maverick Moms are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men” that resonated deeply with me: “Mothers display what we used to consider “masculine” attributes, such as heroism or cool-headedness or strength, while boys are being raised to embody more “womanly” traits, such as self-expression,the ability to compromise, and a stronger attachment to the people, pets, and places in their lives.” While I’m sure Dr. Drexler has her critics, I think that the transference of traditional roles will empower moms & boys alike. The title of this post comes from one of my favourite poets, e.e. cummings. His love poems are often about surrendering, to losing one’s self in love or lust, but this line is extremely empowering & pragmatic. It does indeed take courage to grow up & become who you really are for the sake of your children & your own self worth. Taking control of our finances and our future has been a huge step for me, but seeing the respect in my boys’ eyes when I can catch a rat in a trap, dig a grave in the pouring rain for a beloved pet, or dead lift 150lbs under Mistress Pinky’s watchful eye makes me realize that this is who I really am. I am a maverick mother, a fiercely loyal friend, a dedicated daughter, supportive sister, sister-in-law & an awesome aunt. And I am fearless.
Although I do wish someone could help me deal with my goddamn Christmas lights. They remain a mystery.