I should take a step back, maybe a few.
How many children do I have now?
Freedom, I had her at 16. Than I meet Ian.
I married Ian at 19. Ah what a beautiful wedding. An old Scottish church made of bricks, men in kilts as far as the eye can see. Ah, good times. SO young so blissfully blinded by love. Everyone should try it once. And once you tried it you want another taste.
The next year I gave birth to Sòlas, a girl with Ian. It is a Scottish man's name, in fact it was his granddad's name. He promised him before he passed, while I was pregnant, that he would name the child after him. On his death bed this promise was made. There was no getting out of it when she was a girl. In a way it went with Freedom's name. It meant Solace. She was born on our first anniversary. I never ever got a night out on my anniversary. Solas came birthday came first. As any mother would do.
I still went on the road with two babies. Or should I say: Emma loved watching them. Most of my gigs were no more than two day trips. Never too much of a burden. She got her fill of little kid time then gave them back. Meanwhile Ian and I partied with the boys, played with the boys, made friendships of people who later became much much bigger than I ever would.
2 years later I had Charisma. And she was full of it. Laughing eyes and gleaming smile. She always got away with murder.
On my 23rd birthday Emma and Ian's mum , Rose, sat me down and had a talking to me about making babies than spending so much time away from them. Tough love. They decided not to watch the girls any more. It was either hire an au pair or start roping in my music carrier for a while. Honestly we tried to go on the road hiring baby sitters for the few hours I was on stage. That was until she lost one of them and than Sòlas ended up on stage with us. Children have away of letting you know it is time to throw in the towel.
This meant Mama and Papa could not go on stage together. We had our times on stage alone while the other stayed home. It was about the time Chaz ,Charisma, was 2 that Ian felt America would be a better place for us. Land of opportunities and we could get an au pair he said. We could tour again. Make our way.
It turned out better for him then me. The idea that it was the woman's duty to give up her career was more a fundamental institution in America than it was were there was a Queen and a female PM. I stayed at home with the girls and he played all over the country. I told myself I was happy. I loved my children. What woman wouldn't love to spend all her time with her children. What kind of woman chooses her happiness over her children? Oh lord I tired.
And Ian? He wanted a son so bad he could taste it.
Three years later I had Mercy. That was one month before I told him to leave. I am sure all the hormones helped. They had not calmed down. I found myself in the dead silence of the old farm house. No help. No money. And than the baby cried. I have no clue have we have survived since. I am sure if I stopped and thought real hard I could. But when ever I stop I have a panic attack. It is like a shark, if you stop swimming you die. But damn you know I want to float for a while.
Two months later his girlfriend bore him a son.
Where did that leave me?
Defiantly it closed that door. More like it got slammed shut in my face and bolted many times over from the other side. Funny how one son outweighed 3 daughters and one stepdaughter you raised as your own.
When I received the birth announcement out it was my 27Th birthday.
I never opened another thing he sent to the house for me or the girls. I have a draw in my dresser I put them all in. They slowed after the first 6 months. I put them behind my vibrator. The girls NEVER get past big Bob. It is strategically placed. My sister in law sent it from home after she heard Ian left.
All my girls had a small butterfly birthmark somewhere on their bodies. A little piece of me they will carry on. I told them all this was me always watching over them. At first they all thought it was neat. Their mother always there to care. Later not so much fun thinking of your mother always watching.
Now at 32, I find I have lost the chutzpah of my youth. I looked for it everywhere, even under the couch where the killer dust bunnies dwell.
I'm 32, Freedom is 16. The same age I was when I had her. I am glad to say she has no intention of getting pregnant and has a pocket in her purse for condoms. 'Just in case'. I told her I would rather her be responsible if she was to have sex than bring me home a baby because she couldn't talk to me about it. I thought I was being hip, hell I partied with the boys in England. It was the place to be for music in the 80's. Androgyny was the fashion and anything goes was the code. Not to mention the stories of the friends I lost to AIDS. No Glove No Love. I drilled it into her head.
No mater how hip your mom is she is still your mom handing you condoms and talking about penis and respect. Freedom ran from the room. She screamed first . Said she hated her name, so I didn't have to worry about her ever getting a boyfriend since I cursed her with a freak's name.
I live in a small town here in New England.
All the women are expected to act the same. Stepford women. Was Stepford in New England? That would explain a lot. Than again, I do believe that it happens everywhere. I was just not used to it.
All who don't will be punished. By the pink sweater ladies. The Soccer Mom Brigade. They demand you follow their lead. You will be assimilated. Borg women. Well you get the point.
These women must of been those girls in high school. You know the ones, they set the fashion if you didn't follow you were ridiculed. I don't think the archetypes from school ever go away. I wonder if we ever really change that much from that time. I am still very much the freak.
It all started when I was trying so hard to fit in with those other moms. I even put on pancake makeup and a pink sweater. In kindergarten and first grade all the kids go to each other's birthday parties. It is obligation. The parents size each other up.
One day this very preppy couple with smiles and perfect hair tell me "We you know the children have to go to soccer no matter how much we hate it." And the smiled and nodded at each other and they looked at me in to agree.
I smiled and nodded.
"What team is Charisma on?" The quarried.
" Have sign up started?" I smiled hoping to end the subject.
" They were last week. But the coach is over there, he can get her on the team now. They called the coach over, and the next thing I knew I was 50$ lighter.
I sat on a football field and cheered. They saw right through my disguise. They called me silly when I called it football. That's why they are the soccer moms, they have no clue how rough the stadium seats are in football. There are no prim and proper women looking down on you. Though I would love to have the money to take them all to a football match in England and watch them try. I wonder how they would get the blood stains out of their lovely pink cardigans?
I am evil sometimes.
These women never left New England, some not even the state.
I decided to pity them and ban "soccer" for my girls.
It was better this way. Even if I was out $50 and had a sweater I would never wear again.
The down side was that when our party came no-one came. Later a few people came, but those were the kids labeled freaks as well.
I always considered we had more fun. Freedom felt herself outcast for who she had as a mother. The thought has had me weep from time to time. Those times usually around the birthday parties. She wants so much to be part of what everyone else is. Past the initial shock of having no friends at the parties the other girls Flowed in colours of their own personalities. Content in who they were. Freedom desired the bonds of social conformity. I have to say I could not understand this. This must be her father's DNA. At least musicians crave the freedom of their music.
I wish I could teach her this.