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.
It was quiet in the Safeway as the sun dipped down in the parking lot outside. I blew a wisp of hair out of my eyes and unloaded some green and red peppers on to the conveyer belt as my son played with a packet of Transformer stickers and my boyfriend (which man - is there no good alternative to this word? I am in my thirties and saying the word boyfriend makes me feel like I am 14) was loading bags into the grocery cart. We were making quesadillas for dinner: veggies, wraps, salsa and benign items lined up in a row.
There was a blip as the cashier scanned a white onion and then a loud, startlingly clear voice asked:
“Mommy. Why are you and my Daddy not friends?”
I froze, vegetable in mid air in my hand, and looked at my clear-eyed son.
“What?” I was numb, and I glanced sidelong at the cashier, looking for help.
“My Daddy,” he said impatiently, obviously wanting to know,”Why are you not friends with my Daddy?”
For the love of Pete. I didn’t know where this was coming from, the boy is not even four and as far as I know, his Dad and I are pretty civil with each other at pickup and drop off. But kids are smart, and full of intuition, and yes- I guess it’s obvious that we don’t sit on the beach and have strawberry cake together.
I locked eyes with my boyfriend. This deserved some kind of answer, but oh dear god, I had no idea what it was.
It was like the entire Safeway had gone silent, and I think seventy billion minutes passed before the cashier muttered quietly, “Kids say the darndest things.”
I gaped at my boyfriend like a fish sucking air, he stared back wideyed, and the man behind me in line pretended to read the Star. Katie Holmes and Angelina Jolie probably never have to answer these questions.
“Nolan,”I bent close to the cart and touched his hair,”Daddy and I both work together to try to give you the most fun possible. We both love you so very much.”
He waited, non-plussed, knowing fully I hadn’t really given him an answer.
We walked out of the grocery store and I hugged my son tight as I put him back into the car. My boyfriend is a very good man, but undoubtedly, his presence has raised some questions with my son about the relationship between his father and me.
At this time, I have no idea how to answer him.
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