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Three Men and a Wedding

2 Nov

Three handsome men with me on the dance floor: My son, in his tiny collared shirt and necktie. My partner, D, slightly intoxicated, ignoring the watchful eye of parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts who’d just met him for the first time, and Y, whom I introduce to people as my brother,  though there is no blood connection between us.

My sister got married last night. White gown, hair and makeup, 300 guests, candles and  fancy tablecloths and everything. She was gorgeous, the groom was handsome. The ceremony was lovely. The food was delicious. My son, walking before her in his fancy little outfit, and a basket of rose petals, it was all perfectly out-of-a-magazine, predictably beautiful. I was happy to be there with her. Happy that she was happy.

I can’t get emotional over weddings anymore. I just can’t. Even if it is my own sister. Something in me stopped believing long ago that this thing we do, this expensive social obligation – that it means anything more than what it is to me, a costly party. I know I had one. I know I wanted one. So there’s no judgement here. It’s hard to not want something you’ve been told you wanted throughout your entire life.

We’re structured so that we are always thinking about our next step. After all, life is the journey from one climatic event to the other, with a bunch of boring shit in between. I think my sister and her husband have a good shot at “making it”. They’re a good couple. They’re going to have children, they’ll be a family. My best wish for them is to have what I didn’t. I know it’s what they want. She’ll get pregnant, she’ll have a husband who won’t leave her side, who frets about how she’s feeling and meets her every craving. She’ll have a healthy baby in a painful messy birth, she’ll become blind to the world and only see her baby’s needs and have her marriage take a blow. But her marriage will be strong enough to make it, she and her husband will bounce back and remember one another. They’ll have sex at least once a week. They’ll raise well behaved children that can be left with their grandparents so they can take some time off. The kids will grow older, they’ll grow closer again.

I wish for my sister all of that. I wish for her to trust her man, I wish for her to not be let down, to not be disappointed, to not have her heart shattered and her trust in men broken.

But, if somewhere down the road her heart is broken – then I wish for her exactly what I have. An amazing son, the best friends you could wish for, and, well, love – in all its forms.

We were dancing last night, my son and I, with my awesome girlfriends, whom I can always count on to stand (or dance) beside me when I need them. At one point I found myself suddenly surrounded by my three favorite men, my son was really going nuts on the dance floor, jumping and laughing and man, let me tell you, he’s one hell of a dancer for being only three and a half! Then there was Y, goofing off with us, making my boy laugh, and D, on his day-view, having just met my parents and 300 of their closest acquaintances. The music was loud and not to my taste, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I thought, how special it is to be surrounded by the three people in my life who’ve helped me restore my faith in men.

So I ended up getting a little emotional after all. I guess, it doesn’t matter what ceremonies you choose to ornament your life with. It’s who’s there beside you at those moments. I felt beautiful last night, with my hair and my makeup, and my awesome dress. I danced, with all my favorite people. But most of all I felt loved last night. And I guess that’s what I really wish for my sister.

Navigating under the Influence

28 Sep

Picture this: I’m on a highway, my left hand on the steering wheel, my right holding a beer, my left foot on the gas, my right up on the dashboard (I’m a righty, just in case you were wondering). Loud music is playing – and I’m on the highway. Driving.

Suddenly, I spot a cop, and I freak out. I try to put my right foot back down, to toss my beer somewhere, but everything is happening so quickly, I’m driving so fast, I feel like I’m losing control of my car. How could I have been so reckless? Suddenly, I feel something cold and wet on my foot, soft, velvety, it’s a tongue. It’s licking my foot excessively. Charlie, our dog, has woken me up, and thank god for that.

My son and I collapsed together on my bed after lunch today. That hasn’t happened to us in a really long time. It was a big day for us, well, for me mostly, because honestly I’m not sure how much of it he’s really taken in – despite being the brightest, most insightful 3 year old I’ve ever met (and we all know that as his mother I’m completely objective).

Today, I met D’s twin girls for the first time, and he met my son, and they met me, and my son, and my son met them. All of that happened in one quick hour over ice cream.

We’ve been dating for about ten months now, and I guess it just felt like it was time. I had been kind of pushing the agenda of meeting the kids for a couple of months now, and when he finally said yes, I totally freaked out. This was a serious step. What would I tell my son about D? How would I introduce him? True, his father has a girlfriend that spends every moment of their visits with them. They’re pretty serious – they go abroad together, they take our son on so called family vacations. I hate her guts, but I also think it’s a good thing, in principle. Our boy likes her. She seems to have a head on her shoulders and her heart is in the right place.

But this is different. I the past 3 months, custody has shifted a bit. I have gladly allowed our son to sleep over at his dad’s twice a week, instead of once. It’s been very good for the two of them. Still, I’m the one in charge of raising him. I’m the one who makes the big decisions, the one who gives him stability, who sets boundaries and stands behind her word. I’m pretty freaked out about letting a man into my life – well, about letting a man into OUR life. Because, actually I’ve already let one into mine.

The meeting went well. The ice cream was sweet and cold and the children licked it vigorously under the blazing midday sun. We walked by the water, and I had brought some bread to feed the fish with. The kids loved watching the little fish pounce one over the other, fighting over each bread crumb.

I looked at my man. He was as handsome and sweet as I always feel he is. But there was a softness about him, the way he handled his girls, the way young dads do, fumbling through early parenthood, with a charming clumsiness, a complete contrast to those power moms that blindly push through everything and have answers to all questions and a datebook full of plans for every minute of the week. I’m in love with him, and his girls, and his problems, and his shortcomings. I wasn’t sure for a while, but now I know, I’ll accept the whole package, if he only offers it to me.

Still, I got back home and crashed – well, we both did. Though I had made a huge effort to make our little outing as little a deal as could be made, my son, being a constant reflection of my emotional state, must have felt the tension. I told him: we’re going to meet two sweet girls, new friends. Their dad is mommy’s friend. We’re going to all go have ice cream together at the marina, feed the fish and look at the boats. Won’t that be nice? He said: Are they 3? And I said: Almost. And he said: If I’m older than them I can teach them things. Like, if they don’t know Anna and Elsa I can tell them about the story, and how Hans was bad in the end and how Christof was good, and about Sven and Olof the snowman. He was excited. When we left he said: Can we meet them again soon?

After lunch I felt so exhausted I told my son mommy needed a nap, and he could play if you didn’t feel tired. He crawled into my bed and snuggled by me, and at once we both fell asleep. I don’t know what he was dreaming about, but I hope it wasn’t about his mother’s extreme and untypically reckless driving.

Am I being reckless in my life? Maybe I am. I love D, but I don’t know where this is going. I didn’t wait for certainty before making introductions. Maybe because there could be no certainty before introductions. Maybe because there will never be certainty. There will just be a togetherness for a while, for as long as we both shall enjoy it.

I don’t know.

I guess for now, the DUI is on me, and all I can do is pray there will be no great repercussions. Let this go by smoothly, please! For once, let something be easy.

Don’t Stop Moving

28 May

empty box

My life is overflowing with stuff that needs to be done. I’m stretching myself to get to the end of each month and to make it there healthy, mind and body. There’s my work, and there’s my Boy, and there’s taking care of the house, and there’s trying to date or have a social life of some kind. I think I’m doing an OK job. But it’s taking its toll on me without a doubt. I push myself to the point of over exhaustion. Then I stop, I take a couple of hours to myself and I discover that I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to be. I feel anxious, edgy, uncomfortable just sitting down. It makes me sad. It opens up that giant “alone” box I have locked up in my chest. The empty one. The one that used to be marked “family” and is now marked “what if”.

I try to relax and watch a silly TV show. It doesn’t work. I try to blog about it. It doesn’t work. I post something on Facebook and await LIKEs. It doesn’t work. So I get up and start moving again. The house needs to be cleaned. My Boy’s birthday is coming up. I need to buy paper plates. I haven’t payed the bills yet. I have a parent teacher conference tonight. I better go get ready.

I know that as long as I don’t stop moving, everyting will be fine.

Loved

31 Jan

snoopy

When I was a kid it meant everything to me that my sisters would feel loved. I played out every perfect-mother-cliché that I saw in a movie or read in a book, said every right word, did every right thing, well, the young adult interpretation of the right thing at least.

Overbearing father, busy mother, blah blah blah, and my perfect baby sisters, two little dolls to dress up, and brush their hair, and cook for, and help out with homework, and teach them how to tell time, and build up my ego knowing that I was necessary to them, to make up for my feeling unnecessary where I should have felt paramount.

This post is not supposed to be a parent-rant, although I can see that’s where it’s heading. I just suddenly remembered today, strongly, vividly, how much I loved my sisters when we were little. And I love them truly today, as an adult. But when we were younger it was different. It was like I was their mother. Parents usually say that until you have kids, you don’t know how much love you’re capable of feeling, how protective you’ll be of your little ones. But that wasn’t true in my case. I knew, because that’s how I felt about my sisters. I wanted to protect them. I wanted to teach them. I would have done anything in the world for them and they knew it. And it made all the difference to me knowing that they had someone in their lives that they knew would do anything in the world for them. Not just in a life and death situation, but even if they just had a cold and needed to be spoiled.

So I got a lot out of our childhood relationship, for sure. They helped me fill a void that slowly grew in me, to shut up that voice that always told me that I was unworthy. I proved myself worthy to them. And then they grew up, and I needed to take care of someone more helpless than they were, so I got all these male friends at school that had issues and I mothered them, secretly falling for most of them, embracing the pain of unrequited love as if it were a trophy.

When I met BD, one of the first things I loved about him was how he took care of me. He was the first person in my life to do that in the totality that I had fantasized about my whole life. I’m sure you’re imagining me as this neglected kid with overgrown fingernails, but I was really well taken care of. And I knew that I was loved, too. And if something really horrible had happened, my parents would be there without any doubt, I’m sure of that. It’s just that totality that I was craving. The worrying about whether I would be cold without a jacket, or what time I would get back home. Whose house I was sleeping over at, if I had a sandwich for school, or it I woke up on time in the morning. It’s not that they didn’t care, they had their hands full and I was very self-contained.

The first time I ever got sick and BD took care of me, I was elated. In pain, but elated. He was all over the place, making me tea and soup, and getting me those extra soft tissues with the aloe in them, and bringing me the remote and checking in with me every twenty minutes. And there were other things too, like he hated it if I wore shear clothes, because he didn’t want anyone else having a look at what belonged to him. And he’d threaten to beat up anyone who messed with me, and though he was the geeky type and didn’t mean it seriously, it was romantic and his intentions were what counted.

Now I understand, BD showed me what it was to be loved in totality, to be taken care of, the way I had only taken care of others in the past but had rarely been on the receiving end. It was OK to cry with him, crying didn’t make me a wuss, and he never expected me to ‘just get over it’. He’d just hug me and tell me it would be OK. Sometimes that’s all a girl needs.

Even this week, as I told him I didn’t want to live together anymore, through tears, he still found it in him to console me. And I thought to myself – am I making a huge mistake? What am I giving this up for? I have a man who loves me incredibly, who wants to spend his whole life making up for his mistakes.

But the thing is, that I don’t need BD in order to be on the receiving end anymore. I am already on the receiving end of so much love and care and warmth. My gorgeous son, who blows me a kiss in the morning when I say goodbye to him at daycare, and hugs my legs when I come back to pick him up. I mother him, and I’m supposed to mother him! Isn’t that awesome? I have my friends whom I can tell things about my life, pretty or not, and they’ll accept anything without a hint of judgment. I have two beautiful sisters whose future kids will one day be my Boy’s baby cousins, and whom I fantasize about us raising together, with the ideals of parenthood that we all share.

I tend to get emotional and needy when I’m sick. I start thinking about how I can’t really handle things on my own. Thank god, after I stop throwing up, and I did eventually yesterday, I sober up and remember what’s real. Sitting on a park bench with my friend R and telling him about my aspirations, and hearing that he loves me and receiving his embrace. He believes that I’ll get there, and so do I, and if my son could speak, he’d tell me that he believes in me too.

That Girl

2 Dec

disclaimer

I’ve been reluctant to post about this, because I’ve been reluctant to admit it, but – we’re in therapy again. BD and I, trying to work things out, with the hopes of reuniting and giving our little boy the family we want so much for him to have.

I haven’t really talked much about it, I let almost everyone around me just assume that we’re separated, and on the way to a divorce (I bet they’re wondering what’s taking us so long). The few friends I have told, received the news followed by giant all-caps disclaimers: IT PROBABLY WON’T WORK OUT. NO POINT OF GETTING MY HOPES UP. WE MIGHT AS WELL GIVE IT A TRY, BUT, YOU KNOW, I DON’T REALLY THINK IT’S GOING ANYWHERE.

We have a good therapist. She’s practical and gets to the point quickly, which is good. And things are going well, I guess. We’re discussing moving in together for a trial period in a month or so. If this works out, it’ll be great. I mean, just think of the convenience: First off, having a live-in partner helping me raise my boy, and having that live-in incidentally be his father! There’s the little things – taking out the trash without worrying about leaving Baby at home. Going to the bathroom and, drumroll… Closing the door! Having someone to eat dinner with and spoon with at night. And then, there’s being able to have sex whenever I want, without it becoming a huge project. Only for that to become a consideration, we need to actually have sex, which we’re not, at all. God I miss sex. Sex is the best.

So now I have some down time, since the holidays have provided a short break from work, and BD went on yet another one of his business trips. Time to myself and I have no idea what to do with it. I’ve become so used to working nonstop, I kind of want to work though my vacation, and I can – it’s not that I don’t have stuff to do, I just don’t think that would be smart. I really need a time out.

After taking Baby to daycare this morning I went running, which always makes me feel powerful and sexy and I haven’t done it in a really long time. My running music is horribly outdated, but I haven’t listened to it so long that even Thrift Shop didn’t get on my nerves. When I came back home, feeling energized, I took a nice long shower and was suddenly overwhelmed with memories, little fragments of a winter day, almost a year ago, January 22nd, the day that marks my biographical birthday, the day New Me was born. As the water rushed over my hair, my face, my body, I felt a tingle in my toes as I caught a glimpse of a head of auburn curls, enormous brown eyes and strong arms that used to crush me to pieces and make me feel alive.

But it wasn’t SG I was remembering, it was me. Beautiful, sexy, strong, energetic, creative, vibrant, healthy, happy me. The girl who somehow survived the flood; the girl who camped out on the beach, sipping Breezers all day and returned home with her hair full of sand, and didn’t feel guilty for a minute for leaving her 7-month-old with his daddy; the girl who kissed a guy she never met at a club when she was 10 kilos heavier with post pregnancy weight, but felt hotter than she could ever feel these days; the girl who painted abstract crap and hung it on her wall shamelessly because it meant something to her, and started a blog and wrote 83 posts, consistently, every day, and then every week, and then every other week, but never stopped; the girl who, while raising a baby on her own managed to change her career around; the girl who fell in love, not only with a beautiful, free-spirited red-head, but with her brand new self.

I can’t go back now, I can’t. How could I ever give her up?

But I have. I am. I look back at that girl and I think I must have dreamt her. Just as I dreamt those enormous brown eyes that looked straight into my soul, and those big pouty lips that whispered “I love you” before they devoured me.

Horizon

30 Oct

peer

I had the morning off today and I took a long walk along the peer and looked at the water. It was a beautiful beginning-of-fall day, with a bit a wind, grayish skies, and a gloominess that makes you reminiscent and somehow pleasantly melancholy. I love this type of weather. I can sit for hours watching the waves and contemplating life, arriving at endless conclusions that have no practical implications on my life.

I stood there, leaning on the railing, looking at the horizon, and as always felt overwhelmed by the vastness of it all, so many possibilities, so many opportunities, an openness that the future seems to hold when you take time off work and stare into the ocean. It filled me with such hope and happiness that I had to take a picture, so I pulled out my phone.

Then I took a step back, and I noticed the railing, which was actually a fence, a barrier installed to keep people from falling or jumping into the water. A barrier keeping people from that vastness, from that openness, narrowing down possibilities and opportunities. I suddenly felt held back, constrained, angry even.

And there you have it. Like everything else, the peer on a fall morning is a completely different experience, depending on your perspective, and the narrative you choose to to organize your story in. You can look at the horizon, or you can choose to see the railing. You can allow the foamy waves to fill your heart with prospects and opportunities, or you can take in the impossibilities, the constraints.

Time Heals

7 Aug

time heals

Exhausted after a very long day, a very long week, a very long few months. When was it that SG and I broke up? It feels like forever ago. Sometimes time does heal all wounds. Or maybe it wasn’t as big a wound as I thought.

Isn’t it weird that you can be so utterly obsessed with something, or someone, and then wake up one morning and just be over it? I will always cherish my time with SG. He came into my life like nothing less than a miracle, and gave me everything I needed at the time. But I’m in a different place now, and the things that I need, that I long for in a relationship – I cannot get from him. And there you have it.

I’ve been drowning myself in work, and pulling out Carlos (my new vibrant purple purchase) on occasion to release some stress. I’ve never owned a vibrator before, and I have to admit, it’s really a huge improvement in the quality of my life. No strings attatched, no long talks, no sleeping together, no where-is-this-going mornings. Just orgasms whenever I want them, however I want them.

And that’s what I’ve been doing. Drowning in the buzz of everyday life is my way of healing. And I am. Gradually.

My sweet boy has started calling me papa. Yes, I realize I’m his mom. But it’s the most darling thing ever, really. He also calls his grandma papa, as well as basically, every other adult that he’s fond of. He’s also started running, and he’s been climbing like crazy on the sofas and the coffee table, and chairs around the house. His evergy is soothing, I look at him in his crazed search of something to climb on, and I know that everything is going to be alright.

Nex week I’m taking some time off to spend with him. We’ll be travelling with my family and sleeping over at a friend’s house in the country. I look forward to shutting off my computer and my mind, with the hopes that I’ve healed enough to deal with the stillness and solitude of me and my boy, quality time.