Today's Chai...well, I'm not going to lie, it was the best chai latte I've had in a week. Wait. It was the first one I've had in a week. However, my chai quest today happened with two of my favourite people in the entire world, one of whom I have not seen since July. It was a good reunion!
The last couple posts have been reminiscing about some painful experiences I've had in the last year and it's time to turn to something a little happier. Thank you for reading the last two posts and reaching out to me, your words are always appreciated!
One of the biggest reasons I haven't written these past few months is because I've met someone who has become increasingly important to me and I've been musing how I share this news, or if I even do share it on a forum like this blog. After all, I have maintained a few rules about this blog: no writing about the boys I date, no writing about my ex's personal stuff, no writing about where I work or co-workers. I've written about my pet peeves and my passions and I hope I've made you think and made you laugh. I've shared with you my funny stories about my girls and my heartache over their sadness as well as the evidence that they are healing and moving on. I know sometimes I've struck a chord with many of you, who are also going through something similar and sometimes I just write ridiculous crap that means nothing. What I've tried to accomplish with my honesty is to reach you, my readers, so you know others understand your sadness, your pain, your elation, your failures and your triumphs. We all struggle and we often feel alone when we struggle, and I'd hoped by being honest and sometimes very raw, that I've helped you see that you are not alone, even at your worst moments. Maybe it's naive, but I think we can all find solace knowing other people think, feel and act the same way we do sometimes.
So with that being said, I decided I would like to share parts of my relationship. Not the gory details mind you, no one wants to read about that (or maybe you do, shame on you!), but how this relationship will affect my kids as I move from a single parent to a person with a significant other who is not related to those kids. While I am happy and silly and sometimes plain ridiculous about this person being in my life, I realized my kids might not feel the same way. We've both considered with much caution and thought how we would like to involve them in our relationship, because at this stage in my life, I do not have the luxury of just going off and living happily ever after with the partner of my choosing. My kids' feelings have to be carefully considered and weighed. I have to be an adult and not let my own happiness cloud my good judgement when it comes to them. How do I introduce him to them? How does he fit into their lives? What will his role be when it comes to parenting them? As I've listened and learned over the last year, we all handle a new relationship when we have kids in a different way, with different timelines and different goals. I'm not going to lie when I say that some people handle this change extremely poorly and I want to avoid damaging my kids, who have already been through so much, by carelessly involving them in my relationship. And let's be honest, I have a selfish goal here; I don't want them to hate a person that I care so much for just because I was clumsy about introducing him. So how much and how soon do you involve them in an adult relationship that would normally just be between two people? Uncharted waters here folks...tread carefully!
But if you're reading this, you've probably read my other entries and you know I'm about as transparent as a sandwich bag. I could no more lie to Kate about dating a boy than I could remove one of my arms and use it for croquet. It's just not in me to hide things. Besides which, Kate is not stupid and she's perceptive as hell. So I'm going to tell you about how she found out I was dating someone and how she reacted to that news. I will say first that she had a clue because I often talk about my life to her and she will ask me how my week has gone and what I've been doing and I share all my news about my friends and work with her. So I had been talking about this person more often because I'd been spending, of course, more time with him.
The setting: MacDonald's at Walmart. The dirtiest, crappiest MacDonald's in town. Every time I go there and my feet stick to the floor and I have to clear the condiment counter of garbage, I swear I will never go back, as convenient as the location is. Then I promptly forget and return within weeks to once again stick to the floors.
Kate asks me if I'm ever going to get married again. I choke on my Big Mac a little and ask why she'd ask me that.
"Well, I don't want another daddy and I don't want another mommy."
"Ok, well, even if I ever get married again, that person will not be your daddy. Daddy is your daddy. My husband would just be another adult in your life that loves you and he would be your friend."
Kate sighs and says okay and is quiet for a little bit.
Just then, I get a text from my boyfriend and I smile as I read it. Kate looks at me and says, "Is that from ----?"
"Yes, actually it was."
"Is he your BOYFRIEND?" she says the last word in a sing-song voice, clearly teasing me as I have teased her about boys she talks about.
"Um...well...yes, he is actually."
"Really!?" she practically squeals in delight, "Ohhhh you have a boyfriend!! Do you kiss him?"
Oh god. This is surprisingly embarrassing. Like, yes, I've kissed him, of course I kiss him, but do we need to talk about this right now? You're nine, stop talking about kissing! How do you even KNOW about kissing? Don't your parents monitor what you watch on YouTube?
Anna pipes up and wants to know if I kiss him on the lips or on the forehead. She's so darn cute, my god! I smile at her and tell her both and she laughs.
Then Kate says, "I want to meet him again. Didn't I meet him that one time? Was he your boyfriend then?"
"No Kate, he was my friend then. You know we've been hanging out for awhile now because I've talked about him to you and yes, you met him that one time, but it was before we started dating."
"Okay, well, I want to meet him. Let's go to a movie together! Oh! We could have him over for dinner! Can he come tonight? Please?"
"Kate, pump the brakes. We haven't been dating all that long. Can I just see where this is going before you invite him for Thanksgiving and Christmas?"
"He's coming for Thanksgiving? That's awesome!"
I shake my head, "What? No...I just meant...okay never mind. When the time is right, you will get to meet him."
"Awww, no fair!" and she goes into full pout mode.
So it just goes to show you, kids surprise you. You think you are being all cautious and smart because you don't want to hurt them and meanwhile, it turns out they are ready to meet the significant other before you are ready to introduce them. However, with that being said, Kate's dad has been in a relationship for a while now and it's caused a certain amount of confusion and stress to her as she's adjusted to the new normal, so even if she seems fine with me dating someone, I'm still taking things slowly when it comes to involving my kids in my relationship. I want them to be happy and comfortable and I want them to know they can trust me to make good decisions when it comes to this. Which means I continue adulting and leave them out of my relationship equation for a little while longer, until we are all comfortable with the new status quo.
I also still want some of the time I have with them to be about the three of us spending time together and not about creating an instant new family. I love hanging out with just us, even if Anna did eat so much Hallowe'en candy last night that she barfed when Kate decided it would be a great idea to bounce her up and down for ten minutes after her mass sugar consumption. Yeah, it happened. There was screaming and barf on both children and tears and chaos. It was awesome. Not sure I want to dump that crazy on my boyfriend just yet, you know?
We did, however, end up having Thanksgiving together and the kids were fine and have been asking me since when they would see him again. Baby steps ladies, but I'm glad they like him!