Still Going

I wondered as I lay there in bed that cool, winter morning, where this all was headed.

R snored noisily next to me on “his” side of the bed as I lay there, watching the clock, knowing I’d have to get up from my cocoon of warmth and comfort in a few minutes.  No sense in sleeping any more, but I couldn’t motivate myself to get up from my warm nest any earlier than was necessary.  I let my mind wander lazily as I watched the minutes tick down.  Listening to the noises next to me, my mind conjured up him and I.

We’d spent Thanksgiving with my father’s family out East and Christmas with R’s family in Canada.  My own family thought R was warm and friendly; they accepted our living together as a matter of course.   More than anything, I think my family was relieved to see me in a stable relationship that would provide some groundedness for my son.  I suddenly was now officially Just Like Everyone Else, with a partner and a child and a job to go to every day.  I was an adult.  My grandmother smiled broadly as she looked up at the man I’d chosen, noting his dark eyes and hair were similar enough to that of my son.

At Christmas, R’s large extended family was kind and over the top in their attempts to make Zach and I welcome.  Overwhelmed to find no less than four different languages spoken amongst the more than dozen of visitors to the holiday celebration, Z and I curled up together on the sofa playing I Spy to calm both of ourselves down. R’s traditional, non English speaking grandmother was allowed to believe I was a widow, and she congratulated R on his kindness in taking me on.   I worried endlessly what they all must think of us, but the demeanor of all couldn’t have been more gracious.

So now that the holidays were over, and we had both passed muster with each other’s families, I wondered.  Was this what I wanted to have?  Was I ready for the long term ramifications of what we were doing here?  Because this was no longer dating, by any stretch of the imagination.   This wasn’t an overnight stay or a few too many glasses of wine one weekend.  This was serious commitment of a level I’d never experienced before.  I’d never intertwined my life so much with someone else’s before.  I felt like I was in a car going 85 miles an hour without being entirely sure where the brakes were.

Being a worrier, I started picking apart the man who slumbered unawares next to me.  There were certainly things that concerned me about him.  He had a sarcastic wit that cut just a little too deep, often.  He clearly had some differences in opinion on child rearing than I did.  He’d already made very clear to me that he’d prefer a mother at home with her children should we ever reach that point in our relationship.   He seemed rigid about certain habits and routines.   I wondered how much each of us would have to smooth off our edges to fit a little more neatly together.

I was willing to find out.  I had dismissed so many nice boys based on little things.  I had a chance here to have the life I wanted to deliver to myself and my son.  I was ready to not have to be the one who gathered up Z’s things every morning to take him to daycare.  I was ready to not have to sit down alone each month and wonder where I was going to pull the money out of to pay the Visa bill.  I was eager to have real meals at my kitchen table with bread and wine and phone calls from extended family wondering how we all were that day.

As I rolled over and looked at R again in the gathering morning light, I sighed.  He was not perfect.   Not by a long shot.  But so far, in all the ways that mattered to me, he was exactly what I wanted.

I decided to let it ride; maybe this time, my gamble would finally pay off.


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