Thursday, July 31, 2008

Old Habits

My car has been stuttering when started. It seems to need a few moments to gather itself together before starting its day. A day or two ago it performed this dramatic event in the presence of The Boy (TB). He gave me a look that told me to pay attention, this isn't in your imagination and it isn't going to just go away.

Yesterday my car was more serious in its demands for attention. I left home with plans of making a couple stops before heading to TB's (where I could do laundry and mow his lawn while he paced the courtroom floor) and found that after the first errand my car needed such serious deliberations to start that I had better take it to either the auto store or TB's. I didn't know where exactly the auto store was so I headed to TB's.

Later, after court, I asked if TB would follow me to the auto store, in case I got it there but needed a jump to get any further. He went one step further and told me to stay and watch the Red Sox game, he'd take my car and get the battery checked and be back in a minute. As appealing as that idea was (and ooooh how appealing) I turned him down and said no, let's take two cars and do this together.

After the remarkably disinterested auto store man confirmed it was neither the battery nor the alternator and proclaimed I must have issues with the starter (replaced just a couple years ago), TB asked what I thought I wanted to do next.

Out of habit I said, "call my brother in law", my Knight In Shining Armor who has always saved the day in such moments. And so I did, and Bear gave directions to TB to a local mechanic he was comfortable with.

And so TB discussed the plan with me. The car would no longer start, even if cajoled. We decided eating was a priority (going on 8:30). And so he took me to dinner (after insisting I not argue about money spent or who was paying) and then drove me to the mechanic to drop off a key and a note and then went one step further to lend me one of his cars to give me transportation home and for the next day or two until my car is fixed.

I am not used to having someone to help other than Bear and Jules. I am not accustomed to having someone right there with answers, ideas, solutions and assistance. I am not used to having my own prince show up to save the day.

Old habits die hard, but I suspect Bear and Jules both are thrilled to have someone else handling my crises and coming to my aid. I know I am.

When Nothing Yet Everything Happens

A day in court. Friends, neighbors, relatives, police officers, teachers subpoenaed and yet never called to testify. Thousands spent. A day spent looking at the crocodile tears of his ex-wife and witnessing the drama only she can produce. And what came of it? A trial date. No mediation, no compromise will happen here. The case will have to go to trial. A wasted day.

And yet not.

For all my worries that getting involved now was a horrible idea. For all my concern that he needs time to mourn, to learn, to accept, to appreciate, he taught me more today than he could have otherwise.

He was commended by many for his calm demeanor. For his gentle approach to an unyielding ex. For his patience. For his generosity in the face of greed and selfishness. He spent a day in the middle of the battle field and proved himself the worthy victor despite a lack of a true, resolved outcome.

He will stand before this same mediator on an upcoming day and will have little to prove. He has already demonstrated his true character to everyone present.

And even to the one who began the process with so much doubt.

This boy is more than I was prepared for him to be. And everything I had hoped to find. I can only hope he feels the same about me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Rentals

I tease The Boy that he rented two of the cutest kids in the world to lure me in. At six and four they could not possibly be more adorable, or more loved by their father. Today The Boy is in court fighting for those kids. It's the last of the divorce hearings, the big one, the hardest day he's ever faced in this mess.

There are people coming to court to testify on his behalf. There are people coming to court to pray on his behalf. And in and amongst them all will be The Rentals. The two beings that matter more to The Boy than his home, his retirement, his possessions. She can have it all, he doesn't care. Just don't take away The Rentals.

He has 50% custody now. He'd love to have full, but won't settle for anything less than half. We have no idea how the judge will rule today or what mud she will sling today. I have no idea when we meet up later tonight for dinner if The Boy will be elated or defeated.

All I know to do is to pray. Pray for The Rentals. This is, after all, all about them.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In A Pew

The excuse was his daughter's dance class was performing during the service, but the invitation to attend was genuine and real. I met at his house and we rode together, walking in holding hands with the kids and with each other. It was the first time in fifteen years I have sat next to a boy in church.

The kids were amazing and wonderful. His son wrapped himself around me and held me when we prayed. His daughter's dancing was as adorable as it had been at the performance just two nights prior. An arm across my shoulders during a sermon; a hand holding mine during prayer. A shared smile during the performance.

We talked about the sermon and the Sunday School lesson over lunch. And later, we both remarked how much sitting side by side in a pew meant to us.

It is no small thing to share a pew. It meant more to me than anything else we've done together. More to me than anything else ever could.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Boy

He's a Christian, a father of two, a teacher, a dog lover, a Red Sox fan, fantasy football player, coach, reluctant ex-husband, and softie. He's 5'11, with brown eyes that you could lose yourself in and a mischievious grin that gives his teasing, laid-back nature away. His four year old daughter is wrapped around his little finger and his six year old son is the apple of his eye. His career aspirations are only as high as his entire family is willing to reach and his involvement at church is honest and selfless.

He wore a tie on our first date. He's cooked dinner twice and bought dinner more times than I can count. My table has been adorned with roses more than once and my car has been mysteriously filled with gas. He let me change his radio dial to a country station (and even made it a preset). He sat with me on the beach and watched the sun set and enjoyed nothing more than the simplicity of holding my hand.

His children are beautiful, sweet and welcoming. They have allowed me to join them for dinner, for bedtime stories and for dance recitals. We have gone for walks, gone swimming and made s'mores.

I will admit, I didn't want to like him. The ink not yet dry on his divorce papers, I was cautious about a relationship with someone still in the midst of the mess. But he talked with me, openly, honestly. He did not try to coerce me, but allowed me to feel comfortable in trying.

I was scared. I'm not sure after all this time that I know how to date, how to relate, how to be openminded. But he makes it easy. There's no pressure, no assumptions, no pre-determined pace.

I don't know where this is headed. I don't know if or how long this will last. And for once, that feels okay.

For as new as all of this is, I have not felt quite so much like myself in a very long time.

Friday, July 25, 2008

In Summary

I won't try to catch you up, I'll just say this:

1. I'm actually not without a computer for the summer thanks to the generosity and thoughtfulness of my dad. I haven't been posting for lack of anything to discuss, really. LM is gone for the summer; Birdy and George were in TN for three weeks; I'm jobless; there is just nothing to post about that could be considered entertaining.

2. I still have six weeks until LM is back home, so it remains The Topic That Shalt Not Be Discussed. I miss him. Enough said.

3. It is amazing how far you can stretch a dollar when you simply don't drive anywhere. A grocery store and post office within walking distance have kept my monthly gas budget at a fifth of what it was during the school year.

4. It is even more amazing the changes in my life from a year ago at this time. I won't dwell, only to say, I was in a miserable job last year at this time, wanting to move and not at all sure how to do it. EVERYTHING is different now.

5. Perhaps most amazing of all is the things you will do when you are bored out of your mind. Things that include going back on your promise to yourself that you will never EVER subscribe to the personals again. (shush, you in the back!) Briefly: a reluctant first date, a walk along the beach on the second date, a decision to go our separate ways on Wednesday, a heartfelt conversation on Thursday and a date nearly every night since.

6. There's still six more weeks of summer. Prayers are still welcome. For all of the above!