Thursday, July 17, 2008
"You deserve to be happy." Those are the words my 13, soon to be 14 year old son said to me last night. We'd taken a walk to the post office and, like usual, I took that quiet setting as a time to discuss important matters with Man-cub. We'd been strolling along and I asked him how this new man entering my life made him feel. I stress that it's important for us to be open and that I will not dismiss his concerns. It's been many years since I've dated or met someone whom I felt strongly about. Moreso, worthy of being in the presence of my child. The conversation went something like this: Me: "So, I spoke with Running Man today. He asked how we were enjoying my day off." MC: "You talk to him a lot. I think you really like him. He seems like a nice guy." Me: "Do you feel OK about that? I know it's out of the blue for you. We did, after all, just meet. So, we're getting to know each other. " MC: "Yeah. I'm good. You haven't dated really at all. Do you think we'll all hang out more?" Me: "It seems to be on that path. Unfortunately, I can never tell how the future will be. I do like him. I enjoy that he's respectful about me being a mom first." MC: "But you have to take a chance once in awhile." "But you have to take a chance once in awhile." Out of the mouths of babes. His mouth to my ears. Advice from the teen-side. I admitted to Running Man that I'm feeling a little anxious about dividing my time. Not that it's an issue, I stressed. It's simply the unknown. I've not recently been in the position of sharing myself with anyone outside of family. When Man-cub's dad lived near us I was afforded a fair share of Marissa time. Now that his dad lives in Texas, I am a single parent in every sense of the word. I don't share my son's custody. It's been he and I against the world ::cue Helen Reddy:: The truly relieving aspect of sharing my angst with RM is that he understood. He's a fantastic listener. He communicates his own fears and concerns. He inquires about how Man-cub is processing our new relationship. Respect. Lovely concept. Amazing. Last night RM paid me a visit. We knew it wouldn't be a long one as he was exhausted. The night was warm, but still comfortable. We sat on the front porch and talked about everything. Literally under the stars. We lay back and stared into the sky while I talked about my childhood. He sincerely seems interested in learning about me, as I him. The tales of sleeping on our front porch in the summer time didn't bore him. Or, camping in the backyard in a tent because we needed adventure. Comfort. Ease. On occasion Man-cub would come to the front door to check on us. We always invited him to join us under the night sky. He declined, but the door was left open. Our conversations were free for a child to hear and consider. RM apologized if he was intrusive on my time with Man-cub. I assured him that I sought the boy's approval before extending the invitation. "Wow, you're an awesome pair. I like that. " After woefully declaring that he needed to get home, we stood on the sidewalk in front of the house talking and singing for another 30 minutes. He'd said earlier that he always gets what he sets out for. Being that I managed to detain him an additional half hour I broke out into The Rolling Stones. "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes. You just might find. You get what you nee-eed!" With that he laughed and realized how adorable I am, yet again. This ignited a fierce flurry of relatively loud singing of T.V. theme songs. He exclaimed that he couldn't wait to have his apartment tenants begging for more as we sing duets from the balcony. Me on harmony, naturally. I laughed uncontrollably. This cued Man-cub to fly to the front door and holler out with a chuckle, "What's goin on out here!? People are trying to sleep." So, RM departed but not until I was inside with the door closed. I sat on the couch with Man-cub and we talked further. "You like him, mom. I think he likes you." Me: "How does all of this make you feel? I want you to be happy, too. You are always welcome to join in when we're together. This is a partnership, ya know. It's been you and me for a long time. What's going on in your head right now?" MC: "I like seeing you happy. I know how much you love me. You deserve to be happy."