My son went through some heartache today. His girlfriend of 3 and a half years just broke up with him.
He is very much a manly man, so he wasn’t in tears when I saw him. But I could see the pain on his face just as plainly as if he tears were running down his face. He looked tired. And shell-shocked. And… this was his first love.
I had no idea what to say to him.
I am his mom, and what I wanted to do was to hold him in my arms and stroke his hair and tell him that she was missing out by moving on without him. What I did was eat a won-ton. Because I was at lunch with my husband and bro. in law.
I thought to myself, “What comfort could these men possibly have for my son?” And, they did just the right thing. They were quiet. they ate their Chinese food just as quickly as they did if they didn’t see that this guy was hurting. They talked about hunting, and target practice, and then quietly slipped in questions about what she said, or did, or didn’t do.
And he responded well to that. It took everything I had to not jump into the conversation. I ate my Tomato Beef dish and listened to every word. And it worked.
I was not the fixer in this situation. I was not the one that had the answer, and I was so grateful that these men could, in their manly way, open him up. I was clueless about how men, in their grunting, scratching, and crude jokes way, could comfort a man when what I wanted was to hug him.
So I was not needed today, And I was let into a secret man situation where, frankly, women have no business being. Not because we don’t deserve to be there. But because we would screw it up, just by being the comforting, attentive women we are. And I trust the system, now.
I will stay away from their joking and story telling while they work on the cars. And I will not wait up when they watch questionable movies late at night. And I will not step in when they have a problem and are eating instead of talking it out.
I will trust the system.