Changes… changes…..

I’ve got lots of words and no time to write them these days, but looking forward to two weeks off from work which commences this Friday at 4:00! Mostly I’ve just been reflecting heavily on the degree of my change in my life over the past several months, and looking forward to a year that is likely to deliver more.

First of all has been the big shift in the way Brian and I spend time together. With his ex moved into a separate house, he and I are now free to see each other as much as we want and also to spend time with his daughter together. So I’ve gone from being on my own 4-5 nights a week, to partly-living at another house and having a 10-year-old in my life on a very regular basis. As far as that goes it’s been pretty easy so far – M. seems to accept me being in her dad’s life and as far as I know hasn’t really raised any big concerns with him. For my part, I’m encouraging as much “together-time” between Brian and his daughter as she needs, particularly come the fall when everyone is back into rigid school and work schedules. I figure at the very least it guarantees me a little time off to myself during the weeks we have her, besides giving her the security of her father’s undivided attention on a regular basis.

But while things are pretty good between myself, Brian and M. as a group of people working towards becoming a family unit – I am also coming to recognize what it means to have his ex so much in the picture. This summer has been a continual exercise in frustration as she attempts last-minute changes to child-care schedules, refuses to acknowledge that I should be considered in the process at all, and won’t discuss the schedule for the fall start of school. Of course I still have not met her, despite having offered several times in the past year – and while she professes she would like to meet, it seems that she is mostly just interested in meeting privately for coffee in order to tell me how wrong Brian is. (Let’s not forget that Brian is advocating for both him and myself when he proposes child-care scheduling, so I tend to be onside with the proposals). Some recent comments have lead me to decide that until things get calmer there is no point to any meeting. While his ex has demonstrated that she is currently incapable of respectful communication, I suspect the same might be true of me should we come face to face. Which isn’t exactly the right headspace to meet in.

All said, it’s been a stressful blip on an otherwise good relationship, and one I’m afraid isn’t going away anytime soon. Yes, she will probably relax once we are on a regular fall schedule, but I’m pretty sure these types of flare-ups and fits will come back whenever a stressful decision is to be made. For a previously-single person who only needed to consult themselves in making decisions, the fact I have not only a partner, but his child and his ex as potential factors is pretty significant. And at times, stressful. (I have to keep reminding myself that only a year ago I was a convinced that singledom was pretty much my permanent state and was pretty used to being on my own most of the time. No wonder this seems like such a crazy leap!)

Flipside – I am also rewarded beyond belief in my partnership. Just the fact of having someone with whom to share my narrative, my love, my dreaming erotic self is more than I imagined possible. And the fact of his child is something we must organize according to, but certainly not a barrier, and a person with whom we can create our own rich connection around. Although I reel at times from the new-ness of it all, I rest other times in the knowledge that this incredible person is the one I get to spend my life with. It’s crazy sappy, you know, how tremendously excited I get about our life together, our future. It kinda blows the stupid stuff with his ex out of the water – which I suppose is fortunate or we could be very dismal indeed!

Now if all this isn’t enough crazy-making change, Darren is about to be released from prison and returned home. Although we don’t know exactly when (that depends on how quickly his deportation occurs), sometime in the next few weeks I can expect to make a roomate of my ex-boyfriend for some undetermined period of time. His room is ready, there is a job waiting for him, and we have processed for months about this eventuality – but still, it seems so sudden! And for Brian, even more so as he tries to be okay with my ex moving in. While I don’t expect Darren will present any problem, I do suspect his return may mark a brief and heavy time for me. Even simply preparing the room and sorting his belongings Sunday, I experienced some fairly intense emotional waves related less to him as an individual and more to “all of it, everyone”. The whole of what it was and is, the death of dream and belief, the hunted friendships, the anxiety we wouldn’t make it. There is more writing coming from this place yet, but suffice to say I am both elated and hesitant about what the next few weeks could bring.

And of course, in the midst of all this Brian and I have realized that if he is to sell his house next spring we need to bring a real estate agent and a landscaper in this fall to ensure market-readiness. Which means that all this talk about selling his place and purchasing one together is becoming less chatter and a little more action. It may still be a year before we live together, but it will be a one of actively preparing to do so. And from that it will follow that I am actually a step-mom, and not just Dad’s girlfriend – and well…. like I said it’s all changes all the time!

I’m not really overwhelmed , just kindof “wow – this is my life?” – and hopeful about most of it. Compared to where I was last year at this time, it’s like living on a whole other planet.

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