Dating & Motherhood: Letting go & holding on
I have been dating Boots for several weeks and it is really good. We are having a wonderful time together. I feel happy when I am with him and miss him when I am not. He makes me laugh, think, and hope. He's become important to me in ways that are both comforting and surprising. His opinion matters and I value his input.
Boots is thoughtful with his decisions and doesn’t rush to judge, much like my son. I’m not at all like that so I appreciate this trait. We are learning about each other and I smile when I come across things he has in common with my son or my dad. Dating is hard and when you go from dating many to dating just one, it can become scary.
Not scary in a bad way, but in a way that makes me look backwards at the same time I look ahead. It is impossible to build a relationship with someone without thinking about past experiences. Boots and me are being cautious as we both come to the table with a bit of heartache, but our hesitation is trumped by real happiness.
Two things happened this week that changed how I view things. First, my sister Roni sent a gift from Canada. It was something for both of us, which was strange but cute. I knew a package was coming, was instructed to open it with Boots, and told it was for us as a couple. Both of our families refer to us as a couple but I don’t think we ever have.
When the package arrived I think I actually squealed it was so good. My sister sent us a set of shot glasses. Not just any shot glasses, but shot glasses in the shape of “BOOTS”. They are fantastic and the loveliest gesture. It made me cry. To be fair I cry at everything, but I cried because they allowed me to also see us as a couple.
It was a sweet moment and one I will forever treasure with my sister. I've been nervous to get back out there and for my sister to assure me it was okay to jump in with Boots, was special. I love her very much and while she has never met him, she knows me and her support is invaluable. The shot glasses are perfect and we love them.
The second game changer came when my son took Boots and me out to dinner. He wanted to buy Boots a belated birthday dinner and took us out for an Indian feast. It was very sweet. I'm proud of the man he has become and very aware it is both because of me and in spite of me. My son is a wonderful human being and dinner was enlightening.
Yesterday was a hard day for me. I had some personal things going on and had to deal with sad stuff. My darling son has a front row seat and that is hard for me. It breaks my heart when he sees me cry. I just don’t think a child should see his mother cry. It is said God counts the tears of women and I often wonder if my son has counted mine.
We have been through a lot together and our bond is unbreakable. He has seen my heart broken and he alone has mended it. He's the most important person in my life and to have a relationship with a man, when my boy is now a man, is strange. He was a kid during my past relationships so it's been hard to know how to navigate things.
Dating when you are a mother is hard. Dating when your child is grown up and doesn’t need you in the same way, is harder. I have defined myself as a mother for 20 years and am not sure what my role is now. My son needs freedom, Boots doesn’t need another mother, so I’m left with a void that might only be filled at an animal shelter.
As we sat down to dinner and I listened to Boots and my son speak to each other, I felt happy. There is mutual respect between them, which is important. My son is getting ready to live on his own and while he is quite certain he’s going to be fine, he worries about me. He will live with his friends and I’ll live alone for the first time in my life.
Crazy to think about the fact I’ve never lived alone. I will be fine of course because I am now a bad ass biker chick, but it is scary for me and for my son. Last night I felt comfortable about his moving out for the first time. I saw him as a man picking up the check, visiting with his mother, chatting with Boots, and it was clear he’s grown up.
He’ll move out, chase his dreams, become successful, meet a girl, get married, have kids, and God willing be able to pass on only the good from me and forgive the bad. It is Time for me to stop worrying about him so much. Without knowing, he gave me permission to not hold his hand so tight so I can hold onto Boots’ hand a little tighter.
I have raised a good man and I am dating a good man. It is time to release the past and look forward to what will happen in the future for my boy, Boots, and myself. I seriously need to relax, but when that is hard to do, I can simply take a shot of tequila out of a boot, say a prayer, hope for the best, and keep the faith.