May 12, 2002

the reign of estrogen

Women going it alone. They now amaze me. I'm in my second month of single-motherhood-for-the-moment, with George in Hong Kong, and I have a new appreciation for women who are thrust into the single-mother game. Especially women who are mothers of daughters. For really scientific reasons (so says me).

Look, the absence of testosterone in a household, combined with an overabundance of estrogen, is just not a good thing. I've seen it in companies I've worked for. Those places where the first meeting in the morning means two or three women crying, or at least one of them walking out in a fit of rage, punctuating their departure with a slammed door.

Women-dominated companies, like women dominated households, have some special challenges, and you can call me crazy all you want, but the truth of the matter is the truth of the matter. Ying to yang, man to woman, father to daughter, mother to son, these are incredibly important relationships. And when one part of the equation is out of balance, everyone in the vacinity of a hurling Barbie Doll pays the price.

I'm convinced that estrogen needs testosterone to bounce against. Without it, the power of estrogen takes over, turns you into someone you really don't recognize. Mirror mirror, where did my man-half go? The changes in my daugther--and her relationship with me--over the last month are nothing short of scary. Since when did I live with a teenager? I thought she was four. And yesterday, when she tried to take a chunk out of my arm with her teeth, I realized, yes, she still is four. She's just part of this estrogen storm that has taken over our house.

Is it that she wouldn't dare with her father home? Maybe. But to me, it feels very physical, a real imbalance, a gush of energy with nothing to soak it up, spilling everywhere, until she storms upstairs, yells, "FINE THEN!" and slams her door. Always making sure to open it and add, "I'm NEVER speaking to you AGAIN."

So single mothers, you get my personal "How in the hell do you do it" award. No trophy or anything. Just amazement.

Come home soon, Papa.

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