It finally happened. The moment I’ve been waiting for, praying about and obsessing about the best way to orchestrate. And no orchestration was even necessary. My boyfriend mentioned he might go fishing at the beach next to his house and I mentioned I might bring the kids by and then I did. Finally the two Fruits Of My Loins met the guy who affects my loins in other ways.
It was fairly non-dramatic, considering that my family can tend to fall somewhere between the Barrymore’s and the Hemingways in the drama stakes. I wasn’t anticipating drama from the Younger Fruit (7) who is in a manly phase where he stands with his hands in his pockets and discusses basketball with other men, while gazing into the mid-distance. Fishing was clearly going to be perfect for such a communication style. My boyfriend, otherwise known as He Who Shall Not Be Named or HWSNBN, had promised through me to teach my kids to fish or at least show them how. And it turned out that the manly youngster ate it up, though there was technically nothing to eat, as we didn’t catch anything. Also he doesn’t eat fish. However, metaphorically speaking, he bonded with HWSNBN on a very male and frank level.
The Older Fruit (8) and I don’t mean that in the homosexual sense, for if I did he would likely be more supportive of mommy having a cute new boyfriend, seemed a little more reticent. I’m not a Classical scholar, but I think this is because the myth of Oedipus is alive and well in our household, at least my son would certainly kill his father and marry his mother if he didn’t adore and worship his father so much. Also I’m not his type, he totally has a thing for statuesque brunettes.
However as candidate for most put out by mommy dating someone who is not daddy he is definitely the winner. When HWSNBN rubbed his hand on my back and put his arm around me, Younger Fruit narrowed his eyes slightly, taking it all in. Though HWSNBN recoiled as if from a hot flame upon seeing this look, in reality the kid he looked completely nonplussed. “Just don’t mess with her,” his eyes seemed to say, “And you won’t have any trouble from me, the overgrown 7-year-old.”
After I’d made sure to spend some special bonding time with Older Fruit on the beach, he seemed content, climbing the rocks next to the DANGER sign. Ah, my little rebels. Then after about an hour, he regressed to 2-year-old level and started throwing sand at me. Then a stick. Then he mouthed off just a little. Then HWSNBN said, “Don’t talk to your mom like that.” For which I loved him deeply, but was also sure would result in said stick ending up in said boyfriend’s eye. (Older Fruit can be known to have a tiny anger problem.) Instead we completed the visit, but not before he caught HWSNBN giving me a fairly chaste kiss goodbye on the lips, and said “ew, gross,” but didn’t seem otherwise traumatized.
Later they reported to their dad, who’s out of town, that they met my boyfriend and Older Fruit said that he was “cool,” apparently forgetting that he behaved fairly abominably towards the end. And seeing as they were talking on Facetime, ex-hubby had wherewithal to keep up a fairly solid smile, because he’s truly a nice man, and reminds me of the great advice of a lady I know who said “Don’t marry anyone you’d be afraid to divorce.” Younger Fruit was more concerned about the bee sting he’d acquired at the park earlier (his second) which was now starting to hurt like hell and how he was going to play basketball tomorrow.
Hours after everyone had gone to sleep, including HWSNBN who had texted his loving good night, I was still up. For some reason I couldn’t process this much vaunted meeting for all of last night (I slept badly which I almost never do) and even during the less busy times of today. Perhaps I was expecting something different? It felt good to see two separate parts of my life come so seamlessly together; HWSBN is, as I suspected, brilliant with kids, and the kids warmed to him immediately. Which leaves me to wonder: what the hell am I still so worried about?