Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Super-Lisa! May 6, 2011

It’s something I’ve always dreamed of having – a superpower! I always thought how fun it would be to be invisible or to fly like Superman. But my personal favorite superpower would be to teleport (or apparate and disapparate if you’re a Harry Potter fan) – to disappear from one place and reappear somewhere else. Very useful skill.

I don’t have any of those skills, but it turns out that I do have a superpower! I have a magic force field and I discovered it a couple of weeks ago.

Stepping out of a cab in New Orleans, the doorman at our hotel greeted us with a jovial, “Welcome to the Big Easy. Where are the kids? Did you leave them home alone?” For a moment I was caught completely off-guard. I struggled between trying to come up with a witty response and fighting the urge to give the man a piece of my mind. And then Zup! Up popped my force field! I could feel it shimmering all around me, protecting me from this man’s unintentional sting. And from inside my invisible shield, I smiled and let him figure out for himself that I had no kids to leave home alone.

Then last week I went to the dentist to get a chipped tooth fixed. Because it was also the opening night of my show I told the dentist that I couldn’t have any Novocain. (Didn’t want my mouth numb on stage!) She immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was pregnant and even after I explained that I wasn’t, she continued to prattle on about babies and pregnancy and blah-blah-blah. In the chair I closed my eyes and Zup! Up went my force field again. I could hear all her baby talk dinging off my protective shell, but inside I was safe and sound.

Once upon a time I’d have been upset by either of these scenarios and more recently I would have been mad and felt the need to set these people straight, but now I just Zup! put up my force field and let it all bounce off. I know these people aren’t trying to hurt my feelings, and there’s no need for me to set them straight. They don’t need to know my story and I don’t need to try and fix them.

You can call it cowardice if you like, or denial, but I call it self-preservation. It’s peaceful inside my force field, and after the emotional drama of the past seven years, I feel I’ve earned the right to a little peace.

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9 Responses to “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Super-Lisa!”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    I want one of those! Maybe if i focus really hard.

    I like your attitude: “I know these people aren’t trying to hurt my feelings, and there’s no need for me to set them straight. They don’t need to know my story and I don’t need to try and fix them.”

    This isn’t cowardice. It is living peacefully in your world. Besides, frankly, there are just too many clueless folks out there for us to “fix.” :/

    Cheers! 🙂

    • Kathryn Says:

      Meant to say, “focus really hard” like Harry did to get his Patronus. Sounds like you have a great Patronus circling and protecting you.

  2. Lisa! Apologetic for taking care of yourself? You would have made a GREAT mother (that was a compliment). Cowardice or denial wouldn’t even enter my mind to describe your force-field. Yes it is self preservation. Its called TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF and its something that mothers, don’t do enough of. I have a friend who has a gene that causes her to feel compelled to fix EVERYONE of EVERYTHING, even total strangers. Her life is SO stressful and frustrating. 24-7. Be a duck. Just let it roll off your feathers like water. And remember, when on an airplane, if the oxygen masks should drop down, be sure to secure YOUR mask before FIXING the mask of everyone else on the plane. (sending love and peace vibes to you=====)

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Thanks for the compliment. I take it as such. And I can’t believe you used the oxygen mask analogy on me, because I use that all the time with OTHER people! Guess I need to practice what I preach! 😉

  3. Mina Says:

    Great!

  4. Rach Says:

    Where do I get me one of these?!? Seriously?!?

    Though I disagree with one of your comments:-

    “They don’t need to know my story and I don’t need to try and fix them.”

    True they don’t need to know your story and no you don’t need to fix them but I think we do need to start “educating” people that no not everyone has children and that yes that is in fact fine and that it’s actually quite rude to automatically assume that someone does have children.

    We need to take steps to make it “normal” for people to hear that OMG some people actually DON’T have children – because I’m getting tired of getting that same ole look whenever anyone asks me if I have children and I say no…..

    ~x~

  5. ChrisP Says:

    I want one too! I really need it right about now too. Your post was exactly what I needed to read today – thanks Lisa!

  6. Kathryn Says:

    Rach – “I think we do need to start ‘educating’ people that no not everyone has children and that yes that is in fact fine and that it’s actually quite rude to automatically assume that someone does have children.”

    I agree completely. BUT there are days when i’m just too tired to try to educate and realizing that “They don’t need to know my story and I don’t need to try and fix them” is okay is a step in the right direction for me. Helps me be at peace in the world more, and right now, more peace i can use.


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