Yes, Yes, Yes. I know I need to write more about Matthew. It’s difficult. Sometimes I can’t write when things are fresh. And to be perfectly honest, while he has told me he doesn’t want my writing to change at all simply because he’s reading it, the reality is that there is a very real person (an amazing person) on the other side of his gravatar. While I try to be thoughtful in what I write, I do worry that haste will lead me to write something less thoughtful than usual.
So yes I need to write more. But in the meantime, it was quite the adventure for me this past week, and I wanted to get my thoughts on paper.
We had the birthday dinner for my son this week. You may remember this was coming given some of my earlier posts about my ex’s girlfriend. Attendees were my son, nanny, Mom and Step-dad, my ex, Colleen, my ex’s Dad and his long-term girlfriend, my ex’s sister, her husband and their two kids. I haven’t seen any of my ex’s family since Christmas. The last time I suggested to him that I might want to call his sister, he suggested she was kinda over me so probably shouldn’t waste my time.
It was actually a great time. My ex father-in-law (do they become ex’s as well? could we make that title any more awkward??) saw me and commented on how beautiful my hair looked long. He sat beside me for most of the dinner and we had some great chats. My ex sister-in-law also came and talked to me for a while – asked about dating – and commented that of course her brother started a relationship right away, because he was a man and they can never be alone (sorry guys…). Of course she said it would be great to see each other – although that family isn’t known for saying what they mean, I will choose to believe it.
Yes, Pauline was there as well. It wasn’t awkward. My Mom even chatted with her for a while and commented that she could see that we had some characteristics in common – bright, down to earth, good conversationalists. Of course my Mom also cornered me and demanded I update her about Matthew – and I explained that it was NOT the time for me to do so. Even though my ex knew I went away and also knew that it was the first time I was meeting Matthew, I didn’t feel like I wanted to regale a whole set of extended family members with the story.
As I sat watching my son and this crazy blended family – which very much reflected my own growing up experience – I was incredibly proud of what my ex and I have accomplished and how we handed the breakdown of our marriage. People are constantly surprised by how chilled out I am about all this – and say things like “really? do you REALLY like Colleen?” The answer is yes. When one is committed to making it work – for the best of my sanity, my ex’s sanity, and my son’s comfort – it’s just what you do. Why should I harbor jealously or hate or any other negative emotions about this? As I’ve said before, she’s welcome to him. Why not set the best example possible of how to handle human relationships? It’s just the right thing to do.
There is definitely weirdness, however… Saturday, which was the day of my son’s birthday party with his friends, would also have been my 11th Wedding Anniversary. We had 9 children and they were chaperoned by me, my ex, and Colleen. So yeah, I did think about the fact that I was spending what would have been my wedding anniversary, with Colleen. It also did make me think about what we were doing last year at the same time. It was a horrible family vacation for many reasons: I will write about it separately. You know you are having a bad time when you don’t have sex with your husband and you end up on the phone after he’s gone to sleep with your lover…whispering on the balcony over the sound of the ocean.
Finally, as the whole world knows, yesterday was Mothers Day. I spent it on a long plane ride with my son – I’m taking him on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. It’s going to be fantastic. Just him and me. 10 nights. I will have a lot of time to write – or sleep – given he goes to bed before 9pm every night. I will alone in a hotel room with him for 8 nights. Forced relaxation. Probably the best Mother’s Day present I could give myself.