Tag Archives: family

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.

3 am Insecurity

2 Jan

I point out that he says ‘fun’ a lot. Like, that I’m fun. That the date was fun. That its was fun spending the night together.

He laughs and said, “because it is”.

And I say, “OK. I’m not going to push it.”

But then it’s dark, and we’re spooning, and it feels possible to say more.

“I’m asking because, a while ago, I asked you what you wanted out of life. And you said: a good relationship with my girls. To be happy. To have fun. And it made me think.”

“You have a good memory.”

“I remember because I was surprised that you didn’t say a relationship, or love.”

“Well…” Pause. “You know, my breakup is still recent. I feel like I just got out of a relationship, and it wasn’t a good one. I’m still celebrating being out. It’s way too soon for me to think about a new relationship.” Pause. “I mean, this is a relationship, you and I. That came out wrong. I mean getting married again, or living together. I’m not sure I want that.”

“I’m not sure I want that either.” I say. “But when I stroll in the park with my boy, and I see a couple having a picnic or playing with their children, it makes me wish to have someone to share family moments with. It makes me wish that someday, my family will not just be my boy and I.”

“I get that. I think some day I will want that too.”

“There are different models today. It’s hard for me to think about living with someone again. Maybe it’ll happen some day, maybe not. Maybe having pancakes for breakfast on a Saturday morning, and drinking coffee as the kids play, is the type of family I’ll have in the future.”

“That sounds nice, actually. That sounds really nice.”

Quiet. I close my eyes and begin drifting away.

“Come here.” He kisses me, running his hand through my hair. “This is really good.”

“I think so too.”

Quiet.

“Am I freaking you out with this talk?”

“No.”

Quiet.

“I just got out of a very painful breakup. There are scars, you know? I need to let them heal before I can think about letting someone new so deeply into my life.”

“I get that. I talk about things sometimes, because I have a vision of the things that I want. But I will be very, very careful before my son meets anyone I’m seeing. It’s not something I will take lightly or want to do any time soon.”

“Of course.”

“But listen, regardless of marriage, or living together, or saturday morning pancakes, or whatever… I am developing feelings for you. That’s just the way it is with me. It’s how I work.”

Quiet.

“Now hold me, I’m feeling exposed and vulnerable.” We laugh. He holds me.

“This really is good, zayka.” He says, and kisses me. “You don’t have to worry or be nervous about it. It’s good.”

“You were talking before about scars. You have yours. Well, I have mine.”

“What are yours?”

“To be into someone, and not know that all along he’s not into me. To be blissfully ignorant. That’s my scar.”

Now he is holdning my shoulders, and looking straight into my eyes. “Listen, I think you’re amazing. I’m so happy with you. I like your personality. I like talking to you. I’m attracted to you. I want to get to know you more. I want to spend time with you.”

“Thank you.” I say. It feels like all I can ask for.

“Now you hold me. I’m feeling exposed and vulnerable.” We laugh, holding one another in the darkness. And for a moment everything seems to be in its right place.

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.

A Piece of Advice from the Cheshire Cat

23 Sep

– I was just wondering if you could help me find my way.

– Well that depends on where you want to get to. 

– Oh, it really doesn’t matter, as long as…

– Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.

cheshire cat

I have no fucking clue where I’m going, it’s difficult to even say where I am, and I certainly don’t know where I want to be.

Two roads are diverging in this yellow wood. One will lead to a reunion, mother, father and son, living together, sharing the same ‘boat’, caught up in a routine of joys and sorrows, pausing to become excited by first words, first days at school, first fights, first loves, first disappointments. Anyone who says I can have that without BD – and I’ve been getting that – is wrong. I can try to create a similar kind of closeness. I can’t have THAT.

The other road leads me to great passion and comfort. Not necessarily with a partner – I’m doing pretty well on my own these days – but maybe, at some point, that too.  This road is reliable. It will never fail me. It’s the road in which I learn to accept the fact that my son and I are a complete unit that lacks nothing. It’s a road that makes me feel empowered, because I do everything on my own and prove to myself that I can. Only, I already know that I can. Everyone in my life knows this too, including BD. So who am I so desperately trying to impress?

I can’t shake the feeling that I’m missing something, misinterpreting something. Being let down by men, picking myself up and doing it on my own – it’s a nice narrative. It just seems a little too easy. It doesn’t really feel like it’s my story.

Most of my life I’ve been very opinionated, impulsive, stubborn. I don’t feel like these words really describe me anymore. And though I realize that people change, and it’s a good thing, and I know that I’ve been through quite a bit, and my priorities have changed now that I’m a mother, now that I’m separated, now that we’re “working on the relationship” again… Still, I’m not sure I’m liking this new me. I’m not sure I’m ready to give up opinionated, impulsive and stubborn for reasonable, level-headed and accommodating.

Goodbye, Again.

29 Apr
Got this beautiful picture from: http://fromthelittlewhitehouse.blogspot.co.il

Got this beautiful picture from: http://fromthelittlewhitehouse.blogspot.co.il

We’d been back together for a month, Skating Guy and I, and a spectacular month it was. Closer than we were before, more in love, more intense. I walked around infatuated like some hormone stricken 16-year-old, drawing pink hearts in her notebook and playing little futuristic scenarios in her head, how he’ll ask me to the dance, how he’ll tell me he loves me, how he’ll propose.

Six years younger than I am, SG has a head full of magnificent red curls and the most curious thoughts. He has warm brown eyes and big full lips, that almost seem disproportional in comparison to his other features. His embrace is strong and often he holds me so tightly that I can’t get away. Especially if I’m upset about something, then he’ll grab me and pull me to him, kissing my forehead lightly and just holding me powerfully between his arms.

That’s just the way he held me this morning, as we were saying goodbye. I’m pretty sure this time it’s for good. Funny how I was the one breaking up with him, and he was the one consoling me. You’re right, he said, we want different things. You want a family, and you deserve one. I want to read books, and learn languages, and find myself.

It was a powerful, overwhelming type of love, almost alarming, a kind that grabs you in the gut and hurts and satisfies you and leaves you feeling an urgent need to hold on and not let go, the kind of love you know cannot last. We fell into it unintentionally. We were travelling on completely different paths, but somehow we met at a crossroads, and we lingered there as long as we could, and then it was time to carry on.

I know saying this makes me a non-feminist, and you can raise your eyebrows at me all you like, but I need a man in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I can make it on my own, I know I can, I am making it on my own. I ‘ve been making it on my own for a while now. And raising an amazing little boy. And doing a damn good job at it. BUT, if I want to be truly happy, I need a man in my life. Someone who completes the magical trio I’ve longed for ever since I was a little girl: Mom, Dad, Baby. A traditional, old fashioned family, that sits together for dinner, and has family vacations, and lives together until the Boy is all grown up. A family that argues sometimes over silly things, or serious things, but always sticks together nonetheless.

SG cannot give me that, and won’t be able to. And I’m done waiting for boys to become men so they can give me what I need from them. Been there, done that. Besides, if SG suddenly became that man, he wouldn’t be that boy I’m so in love with anymore.

You’ll be happy, he promised me, as we were standing by the door. With BD or without. You’ll get what you want.

I know, I said. And you will too.

Don’t cry.

I can’t.

Ok then, come here.

He held me the way he always does when I’m upset, strongly, tightly, overbearingly.

And then he left, and I shut the door, and went to the window to watch him walk away.

 

 

All That She Wants

15 Apr

Nature's Embrace by Josephine Wall

He’d be kind. He’d listen when I spoke, and even when I didn’t. He’d hold me when I needed to be held. He’d love my son but understand his place as a significant adult in his life, yes, but not his father. He wouldn’t make promises he couldn’t keep. He’d be warm. He’d be generally happy and often smile or laugh. He’d enjoy a homey evening together of cooking dinner, chatting, washing dishes, watching a movie. He’d have time for us. He’d have time for himself. He wouldn’t be rich, he’d make just enough money so that between the two of us we could manage a comfortable life. He’d want to look after me. Sometimes he might even worry about me, just a little. He’d help me out with things without being asked to. He’d love me. I’d love him.

Our relationship would start casually and gradually intensify. We’d be passionate and physical, and wouldn’t be able to take our hands off each other at first. As time went by, there wouldn’t be as many sparks, but we’d still enjoy one another physically. It would start becoming serious. We’d use the L word. We might be scared. Maybe we’d both been hurt before. But that too would pass and in its place a calmness and sense of security would slowly grow. After some time, keys would be exchanged. Sleepovers would multiply. Eventually boxes would be packed and moved. Closet space would be cleared. A new life would be built and shared.

A little boy would grow up in a safe and loving environment. He’d go to school and play sports, or do arts or read books, whatever made him happy. And we’d be proud as hell. We’d all have a good relationship with his father, who might also have found a new love, built a new home.

We’d grow older. Things would change. Challenges would appear. But we’d cope with them. We’d argue from time to time. We’d be mad at one another. But at night our bodies would meet under the covers and a forgiving warmth would envelope us both.

He’d always remember how I liked my coffee, and I’d remember he preferred tepid water to cold. He’d keep the light on in the kitchen at night because he’d know I hated sleeping in pitch dark. I’d invest in organic tomatoes, because I’d know how much he liked them. Sometimes, when the Boy didn’t think he was too cool for it, we’d order in and play board games or have a movie night. Maybe there would even be another boy in the picture. Or a girl. Maybe.

I’d get a second chance at happily ever after.

But…

But if I didn’t, if things didn’t work out, I’d be strong enough to handle it. Wouldn’t I..? I’d pick up the pieces of my shattered heart and glue them back together. I’d have to find a way to protect my son from having his heart shattered too.

When I think about the risks… It almost seems too dangerous. Sometimes it makes me want to give up hope of ever having a Chapter 2.  But I remember a line that I heard in a song: There are no victories in all our histories without love. And I put on that song that I used to love as a teenager. And it makes me feel a little more hopeful, and little more brave.