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.
My friend Lara never ceases to amaze me with her grace. A quiet, intelligent woman with an aura of calm, she somehow manages to juggle an active social life, superior Motherly skills, and a prestigious job in pharmaceuticals. She’s also beautiful, and a ton of fun, and I don’t think she’s going to be a single Mom for long.
Even though her husband is (in my totally biased opinion), a bit of a jerkwad - she handles him with aplomb. In fact, she also handles his exes with deft grace: her husband had been married once before he married Lara and my friend is friends with the First Wife of her Ex. What? I know.
This weekend Lara was telling me with her usual practical intonation that she’d gone for dinner with Cathy, the First Wife of her ex, and I was watching her with my mouth agape and my shoulders slumped a little in defeat.
“Man, I’m not nearly as good a person as you.” I thought of my ex and his ex girlfriends and though we were never married, I am certain I’ll never have any desire to eat artichoke dip on the patio with a woman he’s slept with.
That’s how it’s been, with my ex boyfriends, anyway. I think of most of them fondly - remember Dale’s ice blue eyes, Jay’s riotous sense of adventure, the earnestness of Derek - but I don’t particularly want to be bosom buddies with any of them, and I’m not overly interested in their current conquests.
But it struck me, over my weekend conversation with Lara - that perhaps the current relationship of your ex is a little more significant when the two of you share a child together.
Yesterday I drove the Jeep along the railway tracks on the lower level highway by our house: we’d just stopped at the Quay to pick up some raspberries and mangoes and for a Spiderman-chaired haircut for my son and I glanced at him in my rearview mirror as I drove. He’s such a handsome little man now, a little happy person with joys and likes and an inherent sweetness that never fails to crush my heart with its sweet purity.
“I want to call Daddy please,” he said and I rummaged in my purse to hand him my cell phone, dialing the number as I passed it back.
“Hi Daddy!” I stopped at a red light, looking at Nolan’s face as he spoke with his father.”Yeah, I’m good,” he continued. A pause. “We’re going to pick up Corey and then we’re going to go back to our house.”
My heart flipped around in my stomach a bit and I continued to eye my son in the mirror.
“Yeah,”he continued,”Uh-huh, good.”
I wondered if his Dad was asking him who Corey was, or maybe whether our son liked him. We’ve never had a conversation about our current relationships - though I am aware of his girlfriend by proxy - and I’ve mentioned my own relationship in a hopefully-casual way a few times.
There’s no charted path here. I don’t know whether to explain to my ex that, yes, indeed, I have a man in my life and I’m comfortable enough in our relationship to allow him exposure to Nolan. And yes, I will be cognizant of Nolan’s potential confusion around the issue. But then a part of me thinks - god, this is not the kind of thing you even discuss with your ex. Right?
And yet I’d kind of want to know about the woman in my son’s father’s life who might eventually be a stepmom to our son - what kind of woman is she? Is she kind and would she treat him with love?
I can’t exactly see myself pouring tea for my ex and sitting down with him to discuss all of this rationally, and on the other hand it seems absurd to pretend that both of us do not have important adult relationships with another man and another woman.
Ignoring the gigantic pink furry elephant in the room seems to be the easiest option at this point.
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