I’ve lived with women for 37 out of my 38 years of life, except for the two years of boarding school, and everybody knows that they don’t count. From the moment I could look up and recognize my surroundings my life has been filled with women, for better and for worse. Life would have been immeasurably different for me if I had been raised in the wild, by a gaggle of men. Of course is it possible to have only a group of men raise a child (outside of a popular 80s movie starring Ted Dansen, et. al)?
My mother and sister were the biggest influences in my life from day one, so my thoughts and actions can be measured through my myriad interactions with them, at least until the day I turned 21, and maybe beyond. They shaped me with their biases, with their fears, with their complications, and with their love. Each of them had a particular way of showing love that I never understood until later in my life, mistaking it instead for judgment way back then.
Then I got married, and I graciously passed on an X chromosome to each of my children, so the circle remains as complete as it can possibly be. Now I live every day amazed by what they do and say. It’s plain to see that they influence me in more ways than a few, these women who dominate my life. And that’s okay. That’s a blessing I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate 20 years ago, but it’s one I get down on my knees and praise god for now. It’s this life with women that I couldn’t have anticipated, but that I love more each day.
So what’s it like living with women? Yes, they can be moody. Yes, they can be imaginative, and forceful, and deliberate, and crazy at times. Yes, they are complicated, and frank, and they follow the beat of their own drummer. They can be so frustrating at times, but they’re individuals, and that’s more precious than gold. I could never regret living with women because all of the women I’ve lived with are the reason I’m the man I am today. I can’t even imagine living with men, of having more Y chromosomes around, because women have everything I’ve ever needed: a sense of compassion that can move mountains, but also a resolve that fortifies them.
Living with women has been all I’ve ever known, and it will be all I’ll ever know. And I am forever grateful.