Tag Archives: new love

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.

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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.