with Kristin Darguzas
I am equal parts Mother, Lover, Obsessor and Workaholic, tripping between unfolded laundry, discarded granola wrappers and assorted memory sticks to and unearthing treasures and various garbage. The blended family unit is an increasingly common structure, and an often perplexing one. Here I'll navigate up the mountain of exes, legality, awkward questions, work balance and attention division - hopefully in time to inhale deeply and enjoy the view at the top.
We emerged from a long, talkative dinner with childhood friends on Friday and I touched my hand to my throat.
“My throat’s a little sore,”I told Corey, adjusting my scarf against the chill October wind,”And I just finished talking about how long it’s been since I’ve been sick.”
The next morning I woke up unable to swallow, and I ran to the bathroom mirror and opened my mouth: terrorized and eager to inspect the grossness on the other side. I wasn’t surprised at what I saw: swollen, white disgustingness. I’d perspired through my bed clothes the night before and my body suddenly realized: I totally shouldn’t have sprinted into the bathroom. I’m toast.
I went downhill quickly from there and had to forcibly restrain myself from googling “Oh my god do I have swine flu?”
In the past two years, being sick has meant relying 100% of my poor beleauguered Mother to help me function, but these days, I’m paired, and Corey was eager to help. He heated soup, made pasta for Nolan, and cleaned the dishes after dinner. I wanted to cry in gratitude but it meant I’d have to swallow my tears, and that would hurt.
“I have to go to LA tomorrow,” I croaked, sitting in front of my computer in a pool of sweat and mire.
“You can’t go to LA tomorrow!”
“I don’t have much of a choice, this is an urgent account and a last minute request. Can you — can you drop Nolan off at school for me?”
My flight would leave at 6:30 AM and so I’d need to leave the house at 4 AM: obviously much too early to drop my son off. It felt like an important step asking Corey to do this: dropping off a kid at school is a parental thing.
“Of course I can,”he said,”Do you think he’ll listen to me?”
“I’m not sure.” I grinned ruefully,”I’ll tell him he has to.”
One of the most difficult things we’re experiencing as a new little family unit is boundaries: Corey is not sure where his are, as the not-quite stepdad, and Nolan has never had a man tell him what to do (besides his Dad.) We’re all shuffling and fumbling and hoping that simple love and logic will carry us through.
In the meantime, I’m going to suck on a lot of lozenges and refrain from boasting about my good health.
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