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So there we were yesterday, my son and I, getting to eat out at a decent restaurant for once.  Zack’s dad paid child support for the first time since last March, so I thought we deserved a little treat.  Plus, Chili’s was running a special in which children get to eat free.  Our entire meal cost me a grand total of $15, and that’s including a tip of almost $4.

I was enjoying our meal and good service until Zack pointed out that the waiter kept giving me longer than necessary glances.  He began to suggest that I should be flirting with the obviously interested waiter, but I shushed him.  It always feels a tad bit inappropriate when my 8 year old tries to get me to notice when men seem interested in me, or when he tries to get me to flirt with them.

I was not quite sure how to react to Zack’s next statement, and to be honest, I’m still trying to digest it.

“Maybe I want to be woken up in the middle of the night by crying,” he said, in a somewhat accusing tone.

I had to ask him to repeat that, and then to clarify what he meant.  I mean, I got the gist of his statement when he said it, but it was one of those shocking statements from him that tends to leave me at a loss for words.  He told me he wants me to get married again so that I can give him a baby brother.

Granted, it’s not the first time he’s said that.  The first time he made mention of wanting a younger sibling, he was only *gulp* two years old.  It was in December of 2005, and I’ll never forget it as long as I live.  I mean, what two year old being raised by a single mother who rarely, if ever, dates, asks for a baby brother?  Just mine, I guess.  I’m sure he got the idea from some child in day care with younger siblings, or maybe from seeing kids at church with younger siblings.  Still…it seemed like a question that an older child would ask, not a two year old.

And now that he is an older child, he has not stopped asking.  I’m certain my sister’s second pregnancy has brought the issue up this time.  She is giving me another beautiful niece in November of 2012, so I am hoping to meet the new baby on my birthday weekend this year!  It’s very exciting, but I’m not exactly thrilled that it has brought the question of having a sibling up for Zack yet again.

You see, I haven’t dated in a few years now.  In fact, without getting too personal, I’ve been celibate for most of my son’s life.  It’s not that I don’t ever want to get remarried.  I definitely do, but my life, like any single mother’s, can be complicated at times.  I’ve been out of work for a while, other than a part time job that didn’t earn me enough money to put gas in the car (let alone pay actual bills), and a few other attempts at making money here and there (babysitting, selling items online, etc.).  When I do have a job, scheduling is always complicated due to Zack’s school schedule and the need to put him in childcare.  I’m in debt, between student loans and various negative items on my credit report.  I’m an off-an-on college student who intends to be on again by either this Fall or next Spring, and this time I intend to attend school in person as opposed to online.

I could give you a million other excuses why I haven’t dated or made myself open to dating, but I think I’ll leave the rest of them up to your imagination.  If and when the question ever comes up, I usually just make the joke that I’m already raising one little boy, why would I want another?  Before you get all huffy and accuse me of being some sort of man-hater, hear me out.  I do not hate men.  I have my celebrity crushes, like many women do, and I notice attractive men in public, too.

But I won’t deny that the idea of diving into a relationship after being single for a very looooong time screams complications.  I went through the trauma of a separation and divorce while I was still pregnant, for goodness sake.  So since the birth of my son, it’s just been me & him, basically.  We’ve lived with my mom off and on, and had roommates from time to time, but Zack and I make up our own little household in more ways than just my tax return.  I wouldn’t begin to know how to start dating, or how to introduce a man into Zack’s life if I were to date.

So until the day comes that I figure all of that out, I ask you, what on earth am I supposed to tell my boy who so desperately wants both a father and a baby brother?  *sigh*