with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
Last week, for the first time in almost 5 years, I took a full week’s vacation.
My son was scheduled to spend the week on an island with his Dad and paternal grandparents. I, though sorry to hug him goodbye, had a lump in my throat and permanent adrenaline coursing through my body. A holiday!
I had a small suitcase packed with two bathing suits and white terry shorts, my iPod and three books, a bottle of perfume, and, perhaps most importantly, no Internet connection. I did bring my Blackberry (I’m an addict, after all) but I only read my urgent email and didn’t respond to a thing: everything could wait till Monday. I had a vacation to inhale.
The destination shifted a few times but the company did not. My vacation companion would be my new friend: a tall, dark man with curly black hair and a quiet manner. We’d only been hanging out for three months, playing that odd furtive get-to-know-you-game. In this case, it had been complicated for my intense desire to keep my son far from any semblance of a romantic life. My feelings were bundled into a fray of exposed electronic wires: nervousness, doubt, giddiness, hesitancy. I continually felt like something was off but I assured myself: of course it feels wrong, this is brand new, senseless territory. Coy romance games suck even more royally when you’re not a naive twenty-something. Go with it, I told myself, go with it.
I went with it. And I regret it.
My travel mate - let’s call him Jekyll- turned out to be a completely different person than the persona I’d concocted for him in my head. My heart, perhaps overly hopeful, had created tenderness out of quiet (it was fury), old-fashioned sweetness out of his firm belief system (it was misogyny) and a decent person out of someone who ended up having some pretty intense anger issues.
I am a little sad to let the hope of new romance go, so quickly — but I am mostly furious at my instinct. After a year of lawyers and tears and crushing heartbreak, I hoped my instinct would have sharpened. I believed that my Bull Meter was razor-honed. Instead, I learned, my instincts are still highly fallible.
I’m glad that I kept my son far away from this relationship with Jekyll and I’m relieved it’s over. And at this point, I feel like I want to give up on the idea of forever love. It’s not sad: it’s just true and I have a million other things to live for and look forward to. Instituting love, sweetness, and tolerance in my own small boy is much more important than finding a large boy for my own.
Subscribe to blog via RSS