“I don’t want some man walking around my house.”
That was what my teenage daughter said to me over three years ago after she excitedly told me her dad had gone out on a date. What she was telling me was that it was okay for her dad to date but she wouldn’t be able to handle it if her mom did.
I was okay with it at the time, honestly. I was thinking more about getting my career in order. I was wondering how I was going to clean the gutters and get the snow removal done. I was excited about redecorating my home in the way I wanted to and getting a few nights a week to myself without having to share the television or my bed.
I was in no shape to date, much less have a relationship and introduce my kids to anyone. My ex had just moved out a few months prior and I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to share my life with someone again.
After a while I wanted to start dating again
Of course that changes. You go through your days when you are divorced– with or without your children–and you start to feel a void. You want to share your life with someone you love and trust after the newness of being single wears off.
I decided maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to share the television. There were nights I’d take my down comforter and wrap it around myself so tight hoping to mimic the human touch I was craving. Mind you, I was not lonely but was ready to move on from my old life and give myself permission to meet someone and fall in love.
When that happened unexpectedly last year, I still don’t think I was ready to combine my two lives. I was having a love affair with a man I was falling for fast and hard and it was wonderful.
But I’d also wake up with him in his bed or mine, and have a guilty feeling. Much like when I was pregnant with my second child and I wondered if my first born would survive sharing me (he did, they always do.)
This was different than dating someone and not really being in love or seeing a future with them. Those affairs were easy to keep from my kids because I wasn’t truly invested; I didn’t have the urge to share them with anyone until I met this man.
I met someone I wanted to introduce to my kids
After a few months of keeping things separate and running out of excuses as to why he couldn’t meet my kids, I felt like it was time to introduce them and I didn’t need to feel guilty– after all, didn’t my kids want me to be happy and have relationships other than them and my girlfriends?
I knew my children would be cordial and polite. They hadn’t seen me with another man since their father and I had been married.
But I didn’t expect them to fall in love with each other like they have. I had no idea my son would be so excited to share a frozen pizza with his mother’s boyfriend or invite him over because he just wanted to spend time with him.
I didn’t think this man would be the one to propel them out of their rooms and get them to hit a baseball or shoot a basketball.
I was blown away when they all started their own text threads and inside jokes.
And it makes me so happy to see this person that I’m so in love with who has kids and a big life of his own, welcome my three kids with their big personalities and quirks.
It’s no small task and he’s up for it.
I love that my boyfriend has become such a big part of my kids’ lives
Scratch that, he’s ecstatic about it and has had zero hesitations even though he’d never blended his family with anyone else’s before either. This was a first for both of us and he dove in head first without any reservations and was able to help me along the way.
I had no idea we’d get here. I didn’t think my daughter who told me having another man walk around the halls of her home would never be okay with her, and sons who didn’t even really want to meet him at first, be so eager to see him a few nights a week.
I had no idea they’d ask about our dates. I had no idea they’d want to FaceTime with both of us while we were away for the weekend.
I had no idea it could ever feel this right.
I’m glad I waited until I was ready, but more than that, I’m glad I took the chance to introduce another man into my teenager’s lives and give them all another person to love.
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