Thursday, January 28, 2010

Playing house.

The Pistolero is here for a visit; he has to take some days off & managed to snag Friday, so he drove down here Tuesday night (his normal days off are Wed/Thurs).

It is, of course, lovely to have him here. Five hours is kind of a bitch, but it's not insurmountable. (OK, for me it's a five hour drive. For him it's a little over four hours.) With little exception we manage to get together about once or twice a month. I went down to the coast over the MLK Day weekend (the girls are back to being with their dad on weekends)--it was a completely spur-of-the-moment thing, and of course I was down there the last week of the girls' Christmas break, when they were with the ex.

My time on the coast is always a little vacation from the world. I am primarily a mother, and happy for it, but when I go down there--or when we meet halfway, in Columbus, it's always done when the girls are with their dad. And so although I am still a mother, I am not doing Mommy things. It's kind of nice, though of course I'd much rather have the girls with me.

When he is here, though, it is a different matter altogether, because even though he's off work, I am not off school, and the girls are not off school. When he was down here in December it was a bit different, since I was on my semester break. It is much closer to what I consider real life.

And the thing is, he slots into my life perfectly. Of course this is nothing but a good thing. It's still amazing. Though I knew the girls would like him, I did not expect them to be head-over-heels (really, though, I am, so why not them in their way?). He's a lifelong bachelor and has no kids, so you would not expect him to be as good with children as he is; he's taken to the whole thing like a duck to water. I have warned the girls to obey him like they would me, only, you know, actually do what they're told. Quite often, they do, and I rather appreciate that he doesn't hesitate to call them down.

I talk with other single moms on a regular basis, and have started to haunt Mothering's blended family forum. There is this thing some stepparents do where they detach from their stepchildren; there is a term for it but I don't for the life of me remember what it's called. I can't imagine living like that. I can't see how it benefits anyone, really. Of course the girls already have a father, and I am in no way looking to replace or supplant him, but really I could not be with anyone who wasn't willing to be a full-bore parent when the kids are with me, as they are most of the time. Erik told me some time ago that his ex-girlfriend would become upset with him for merely telling her sons to listen to her...I can't even conceive of marginalizing him that way. And I'm glad he doesn't hesitate to be a part of the family I want him to be a part of. (He took Linda to the bathroom when we were in Target earlier. What's not to love?)

Now, if I can just help him break the habit of asking to do stuff, instead of just saying he wants to. (He will usually hand me stuff now when he needs to use his left hand, instead of setting it on the ground--and the hell does it say for Kitty-eater that she let him do that--so progress is being made.)

Things continue to look good...

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