It's been a big weekend here in my little house. I had the "B" conversation with my kids. I wanted it to just be the "D" conversation, but that's too easily confused with the 'Big D'; unfortunately, they've already been there and done that. This is different. Way different.
It's the boyfriend conversation. My kids have known that I've gone out on dates. To them, that's meant that when they're not home I 'see friends', or that I occasionally go out on a weekend evening. But they've never heard me refer to anyone as my boyfriend, met that person or his kids, or been home when said person has come to pick me up for a date.
And, true to form, I couldn't just start with baby steps and pace myself. No, we went from the 'there's someone I'm dating who I really like' conversation to having a play date with his kids to meeting him to him picking me up to go out, while the kids are home. All in one short week.
And I have to say that I wonder now if I worried so much for no reason. My kids were ecstatic to meet new kids; saying they had a blast playing together is an understatement. They took the news of mommy having a boyfriend in so much stride I had to wonder if maybe they didn't hear me, or understand what I was saying. Then when Nicholas started saying 'boyfriend' in that half-mocking, sing-songy voice we get when we're teasing, I knew they heard me. And they understood. And the world didn't end. In fact, two of three declared him 'really nice.' The other thinks it's just weird that mom is dating, and that wouldn't change no matter who I dated. All in all, I'd say it's been an easy conversation.
Part of my hesitation has been that I really don't want to thrust them into an adult's world before it's time. I want them to be kids, and part of being a kid does not include wondering who mommy is going out with or if they're going to meet someone or…….whatever their younger minds might wonder about. I want them to know that they are still #1 on my list, that my priorities do not shift and that in most respects everything stays the same. I've been in the role of child who witnesses more than one boyfriend come and go, and I vowed to never put my children in that place. Never.
So this is a huge step for me. Way out of my comfort zone. Because now, if said boyfriend and I decide we don't work out, my kids will probably miss his kids. They will, at the very least, ask about them. And I can't dodge the issue anymore because now they're real people instead of concepts we talk about in terms of 'maybe' and 'someday'. Heavy stuff for me.
Best part, though? I'm ok with the huge step. It feels good, actually, and I'm not second guessing anymore. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date to get ready for.