On the small cul-de sac where I live, there are five houses. I own the one at the bottom of the hill, with my brother. It’s the most dilapidated home in a nice neighbourhood: a seventies two-story with valiant concrete beams and a slightly off kilter garden.
When I moved in, I was slightly self-conscious. What would the neighbors think of our odd arrangement? There was this guy in his late twenties, with an embarrassingly loud yellow truck, living in the basement. There was a woman in her early thirties with a young son, living upstairs. She was at home all day, hunched over her computer with a wool cap and dirty yoga pants. She stayed there all day, even though she dropped off her son each morning at daycare.
I was certain the neighbours would think we were conducting an illicit marijuana operation. This was such a nice, quiet suburban neighborhood. Full of such normal families.
I quickly learned two things:
1) No one cares about my living circumstance.
2) None of my neighbors have normal situations.
My 14-year old babysitter is the product of the marriage of her Mom and Dad. Her Mom was married twice previous and she has several half siblings. There is a quiet gay couple two doors down with an adopted daughter. There are old people across the street and their daughter visits frequently: I am not sure whether they are married, divorced, or three-toed and I really don’t care.
I’ve explained a few times that I was never married to the Father of my son, that we were only briefly engaged after a long relationship. But it happens rarely, and when we are out in public now, many assume that my boyfriend, Corey, is the Father of my son. There have been a few stilted conversations and muttered corrections, but for the most part, that’s fine with me. What I’m struggling with, and what I’ll be writing about here:
-The feeling of continued 100% responsibility for the care of my son, even though I’m coupled and we’re now a “family” of sorts
-Household responsibilities in a non-biological family
-Second children, different parents.
-Relationship strains and triumphs with the ex parent now that I’m coupled with someone new.
Is there anything else you’d like to explore? I can’t wait to embark on this new journey with you.