with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
Two small round faces swivel from the TV and stare at me with a mix of bemusement and ewwwww.
“Seriously?” says my firstborn, a wise creature of eight, who already knows about the “sex” part of “sexy.”
I rip my eyes away from Michael Landon’s sweaty, naked chest and his perfectly teary eyes as he prepares to shoot Jack the dog, who might have rabies—which would mean, of course, that Laura might have rabies, all because of that stupid raccoon.
I had not recalled Pa Ingalls having so many topless-with-suspenders scenes. I remember having a crush on Almanzo at some point, but Pa? Oh, my.
My children are still staring at me. This is a FAMILY SHOW, after all.
“Um. Did I say that out loud?”
“YES,” they both say, waiting for my defense.
“Well,” I stammer, “It’s just, you know—to a mom—Pa Ingalls is pretty cute. I can’t help it. He’s good with an axe. He’s good at the mine. He’s good at the mill. He’s good with his kids. He’s good with rabid raccoons. He’s good at making his very proper wife laugh. He eats popcorn in bed, but turns the light off when she says it’s time. He’s just plain…well….”
“Sexy,” says my firstborn, wrinkling her nose in revulsion.
“Let’s just say ‘HOT.’ Pa Ingalls is pretty hot, to grownup ladies,” I say. “It cannot be denied.”
Their disgusted looks tell me that, yes, in fact, it can be denied. They are just discovering the impish charms of Willie Olsen, as I was at that age.
“I just mean—as a MOM—Pa Ingalls is appealing.”
“We got it,” says First.
“Okay,” I say. “Well, then.”
I don’t got it.
Having been married, and having then been forcibly ejected with no parachute into the dating pool, well, I preferred the latter, as I’ve said. And every time the girls watch “Little House on the Prairie,” my Caroline Ingalls obsession kicks in. I want to be her. My admiration for her (okay, for Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls) makes my ovaries swell. Now I see sweaty Pa (okay, Michael Landon as Pa) and wish he would blow out the candle and tickle those ovaries, in his manly, late-1800s way.
I wouldn’t expect Pa to get his freak on. Missionary would be fine. And I tell you: I would not be thinking of England. Or the impending prairie brush fire.
I want that. If I can’t have what I had before, then I want me some Caroline and Charles Ingalls. I would happily clean the chicken coop and make bread from scratch and deal with that nasty Mrs. Olsen and defend myself against naked Indians if it meant Pa would come home from hunting jackrabbits and deer and get Half-Pint and her sisters into bed and play the fiddle for me, to sex me up, get me good and in the mood for some stealthy under-the-patchwork action.
But that’s just me.
Unless, you know, you want in, too.
Anybody else? ‘Fess up, now.
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