There’s a suite for rent on a hilly, forested street in a nearby neighborhood. It’s within budget, all utilities included. Slightly belligerent but exquisitely charismatic rescue dogs are not only tolerated, but encouraged. The landlords are dog people, this is good, I can feel it.
I make an appointment for a viewing at 4:30 the next day.
“I have a few people coming,”the landlord warns me.
“That’s OK,” I reply,”I just think this might be perfect, I’d really love to see it.
I walk up the steps to a looming house, all grey-and-glass and jutting West Coast architecture. Nolan grips my finger, tiny and spry in his green monkey t-shirt, and I watch the landlord regard us from the front step, an “O” forming on his mouth.
“I’m not looking for me,”I explain quickly,”And not for my son. It would just be a man living here — 31 years old, a tradesman, an avid mountain biker, pretty quiet. And my dog — well, his dog now. An awesome rescue dog, he’ll capture your heart.”
He doesn’t say anything and I draw a breath,”I’m looking on behalf of my ex,”I say,”For my son’s father.
The apartment is clean and sparkling and the landlord jovial: a fireman, resplendent in the glow of his personal-trainer wife. Nolan and I look around and snap pictures and I can just imagine my father shaking his head in horror, Why the hell are you helping him, Kristin? After everything?
I even think of the comment on yesterday’s post,from Robyn, asking me what the hell I am doing taking care of my exes credit card requirements. I feel a wash guilt for being the schleppy facilitator in my son’s Dad’s move from the next city, for doing his grunt work for him, again.
But the thing is, I’d feel more guilt if I didn’t help him look for an apartment. I think it is best that Nolan is near his Father, if possible, and, without being a pushover, I want to foster a semi-warm relationship that will enable Nolan to grow up understanding cooperation done for love. I want my son to know that his Father and I love him so very much, we’re willing to put aside our differences with each other. If I don’t help him look for an apartment in this tight market, he might not get one. And that would hurt our son.
I take pictures of the small, cute kitchen and the green foliage outside the bedroom window. I note the proximity to the bike paths outside, and the very safe vibe of the neighborhood.
“I think,”I say,”He’ll take it. I’ll confirm for sure tonight, but I think it’s a safe bet that he’ll be in. What are the next steps?”
Nolan’s Father moves here in a month. I am rejoicing for my son, apprehensive for my heart, and eager to forge a better path for our son’s future.