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Ready or not…

January 2, 2014
Bring it 2014!

Bring it 2014!

Clearly this year has big designs on Mama C and the Boys. For starters, Shrek and I are getting married this year. This means, among other things that I can no longer say; “We’re planning on getting married sometime next year.” Never has the switch from December to January seemed so significant.

Shrek presented me with a stack of the final old school co-designed and home printed “Save the Date” cards wrapped lovingly in plastic wrap yesterday morning. I’m mailing them out Catherine. I am marrying you. It is happening you know. 

Gulp.

It has been a year and half since he proposed.

It has taken us that long to agree on much of anything, let alone a date, a place, and loosely on what such a celebration might actually sort of look like.

OK, the truth is that is has taken me that long to believe that I am really cut out for the long term committed relationship thing. I was just becoming so competent at getting along well with single mother me when he came along. I’m only half kidding. Learning how to be a half way decent (adoptive, transracial, and donor assisted) parent, with a professional life, who managed to practice a little self care, maintain a few friendships, write an occasional poem or blog post, and take care of a hundred year old house was no small potatoes. To do all that and still find myself to be agreeable company at the day’s end was heroic. I was a rather impressive solo act on the dance floor. The music doesn’t just switch from the Flashdance theme song to Louis Armstrong’s ‘Bout Time like that.

It takes time. Time, patience, and perseverance from both of us.

I am slowly realizing just how hard I have been fighting against this for the last two years to be completely honest. Having never experienced a long term committed relationship before (this is the longest relationship I have ever been in) I was, and still am very new to the lexicon of long term love. My dating dictionary was pocket sized, and honestly did not even have a definition for intimacy in it. Or at least one that applied to someone over the age of twenty-five with two kids and a whole lot of Hallmark Movies dictating her idea of the perfect relationship. I sense that I believed on some level that to lean into this relationship, meant that I had to abandon my identity as SUPER SINGLE ME which had come to be the only me I could really count on and trust. It is only in the last few months that I have experienced a merging of the capable, independent, creative, dynamic, relational, multifaceted me, with the partner, co-parent, lover, creative, dynamic relational multifaceted us. Follow me so far? It’s OK if you don’t, because I’m just getting the hang of it too.

Here’s an example: this time last year I had the HARDEST time sharing Shrek with his grown kids. I would act out when he seemed to disappear when they came into town for the holidays. I needed constant reassurance that I was important too. I put on my best bonus mom face when they were here, but then when we were alone instead of celebrating his marvelous love for them, and them for him, and all the ways everyone was thriving I would either pout, withdraw, or argue some minutia.  It was as if I was always looking for evidence that he wasn’t REALLY in this with me and my kids…

Now forward a year, and you would see a completely different emotional and relational landscape. The arrival of his kids in town was exciting for both of us. It meant more connection for me and my kids, and a sense of ease and balance for Shrek for the brief time he had with them. As his relationship with each one is it’s own entity it meant seeing different sides of him too. My independent self enjoyed the alone time I had with my two when he was off with one or two of his five. My relational self loved planning meals, shopping for the perfect bonus kid gifts, and showing up for Shrek in a way that made him feel supported and loved. In turn he was of course very loving and affectionate with me while they were here and in a super happy mood for most of the last two weeks. No wonder he was all hearts and twinkles when he handed me those “Save the Date” cards.

And, all this time I really thought that Shrek was the difficult one. Huh.

_____

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2014 7:10 pm

    You are a brave, humble, vulnerable, honest, rockstar Mama! Congratulations, it is happening! Now, breathe, let go and let it happen… all of it.

    • January 2, 2014 7:18 pm

      Oh such sweet kind words. Thank you. Yes, and great advice: now to letgo and let it happen. Word. You make that look so easy!

  2. January 2, 2014 8:02 pm

    He sounds like such a lovely man that I’m sure it’s hard to believe, deep down, that he’s as wonderful as you know he is. Maybe there is some self-protection reflex hiding down there but it sounds like you are exorcising those demons and that taking time to process this decision was what you needed to do.

    I am so excited to hear about your coming year. Wishing you the most wonderful year in 2014 Catherine! I think many of your dreams and goals are going to come true this year!!!

    • January 2, 2014 8:12 pm

      Thank you Mama. Yes, I have definitely been working HARD at looking at these demons and then some. He is lovely, and he is hanging with his own set of demons too. But what is amazing is how it is getting easier as we go along, and how much more steady I feel now then even two months ago. It’s counter intuitive sometimes this relationship thing huh?

  3. Kim permalink
    January 2, 2014 10:44 pm

    I completely follow you I have been super single mom myself myself for so long that I just can’t picture myself any other way. Being a single mom is a lot of hard work and of course there are times when you wish you had somebody else to stay in the car when you run into the drugstore or someone to stay home so you can go out and do something or even just do the dishes. but for me the trade-off has always been that I get to make decisions completely by myself and that is something that I find would to be very hard for me to share. My oldest has been talking a lot about daddies and wanting a daddy and he’s even been calling some friends of mine daddy so I’ve been telling him he can have lots of adopted daddies if they say it’s okay. It just feels right now like it would be a good time because my kids would be so receptive to the idea. Right now they’re young enough to have fun with somebody else and not old enough to be resistant to someone moving into our home not to say that is something I should rush into. Sounds like this is going to be great for you and your kids and I wish you the best of luck with your transition.

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