I began dating about nine months ago — roughly three years after my divorce. My daughter was three then, and I tiptoed on already cracked eggshells to make things smooth for this little girl who just didn’t understand why people couldn’t make things work out. The first few years after the divorce, I wouldn’t even consider starting a new relationship — I had a child who needed her mom to not quickly jump into another relationship.
I also didn’t know if I could handle anymore heartache — or anymore love. So I focused on work, on being a mama, and processing the 500 post-divorce emotions that came without invitation.
A few productive, insightful, sadly celibate years rolled by, and then it happened: I met a fella. And it happened with ease! And he likes my gray hair! You mean I can get down with all of this again, after all? Who knew! I couldn’t even believe it was happening… until my now six-year-old asked me if I have a boyfriend. When I said yes, she asked to meet him.
Pause. CAN SHE MEET HIM?
After five failed excuses I caved, and they met for about fifteen minutes. The three of us didn’t spend time together again for the next six months — I needed the time to re-learn, and to also have trust, fun (you know what I mean?), and to feel like my daughter wouldn’t be irreparably harmed if she hung out with us.
Now we hang out all the time. A few times a week we go out for veggie dogs, a walk to the park, or take photos together. They adore each other, and for a while I’ve been sort of frozen, wondering what to do. At times it scares me to have things so intertwined (read: what if…), and at other times I feel like I am re-learning what it’s like to give and take.
I don’t know if I am doing the right thing, but we’re all talking and asking questions. It’s dawning on me that I might just have to relax and keep unfolding.