I would say I’m sorry
If I thought that it would change your mind
But I know that this time
I’ve said too much
Been too unkind
The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry!
So that was that.
A few calls after suggesting it, things seemed to take on a will of their own and it was all arranged. He would come over for dinner at mines on Sunday afternoon.
We’d checked the dates in our diaries, discussed the best options so that he was over for a few hours, met the boys but wasn’t there long enough for either side to feel uncomfortable.
We had considered going somewhere neutral. There is a good Chinese buffet restaurant not far from me and that would be great on other occasions. But not for a first meeting, I wanted the boys to feel at ease and give them the possibility to disappear off to their rooms if they weren’t happy.
Sunday afternoon, just four days away, but it should give me enough time to sit the boys down and tell them that I’ve met someone else, Someone that I like and whose company I enjoy. To let them know that I want our relationship to develop and become more than just dating.
Four days and the clock is ticking.
I feel both scared and enthused by this decision. I just hope that I’m doing the right thing. I don’t think that I’m jumping in too soon, but how do you know when the time is right? I’ve lay awake thinking about this and came to the conclusion that I just have to trust my instincts.
What is bothering me at the moment is trying to pre-empt what the boys will say? I’m also concerned about how I will break this news to them?
Most importantly I need to reassure them that I am still their mum. That no matter what happens I’ll always be there for them. That’s so important to me. I need them to trust me that I’m doing the right thing.
I need them to know that no-one will ever take the place of their dad, their dad is their dad and always will be.
I need them to know that although I’m their mum and that I have grieved for their dad, it’s time for me to move on and have a new life for myself. Even their dad wanted me to carry on with life and not to waste it sitting in the house.
I’ve been doing that over the past year, going out with friends, going to Glasgow and Edinburgh and enjoying being single. I’ve met a couple of people with different levels of success or lack of it.
If I’m absolutely honest, I only joined the online dating site on a whim, One night after Christmas when I’d been to a friends party and everyone else was there as part of a couple and I was on my own.
I didn’t actually expect to meet anyone, never mind someone that I liked enough that I wanted them to be in my life and meet my sons. It’s took me a lot of soul searching to get to this stage, but I’d rather be with someone I really like than a whole list of guys that I’m not really interested in.
I’ve been dreading telling the boys that I have a new man in my life particularly David as he is the eldest and most dominant and can be quite controlling at times.
I know that telling them will be difficult and there will be tears and anger. Then fear of meeting on the day, but I’ll reassure them that nothing has changed and that they should be happy for me. I’m sure they can tell that I’ve been happier recently. I’ve been back to my old self and had a smile on my face.
Each of my three sons has their own personalities but David really is the most obstructive and will often throw a sulk if he doesn’t get his own way. He doesn’t like the fact that over the past year I have started going out more often with my friends.
We’ve had words about it, quiet conversations were I’ve tried to treat him like an adult and allay his fears but despite my mollycoddling and pandering to him but he still acts like a child. He seems to think that I should be at home all the time wallowing in grief for his dad and paying constant attention to his demands.
In some ways he is very like Andy. He would wait until I had a night out arranged with the girls and then just as I was getting ready. He would take the huff or start a fight, usually for some petty reason. Any petty reason to make sure that I was upset and not going out in a good mood to enjoy myself.
The first hour with my friends would often be spent talking about whatever issue he had created to upset me. I didn’t really notice it at the time; it was only when Lynn pointed out how often this occurred before I noticed the pattern.
Of course it’s one thing experiencing that possessive behaviour in a relationship. With hindsight it wasn’t acceptable then and it sure as fate isn’t acceptable now and certainly not from a child.
( Thought – the phrase above “Sure as fate” .. Do you believe in fate? Would fate mean that their relationship was pre-destined? And by implication the earlier parts of their lives, their children’s births and her husband’s death pre-destined too? )
To be fair, the other two boys will be relatively easy, Jamie could be a pain at times, but he is fairly easy going and knows that I’ve been a lot happier and content over recent months. Max, well he’s still my baby and although he is clingy, he will be fine. I’ll just need to give them lots of attention and reassurance.
I usually make a roast on a Sunday, nothing too fancy. Just a ham or beef joint, potatoes and all the trimmings. I like having a traditional family dinner with the boys sitting down at the table for a change rather than eating in front of tv or separately. It seemed like a good idea to have the meeting then, daytime, more formal, less invasive and the boys could escape to their rooms at any time.
With that in mind, I decided that I’d tell the boys on Thursday evening, it seemed the right thing to do. It would give them enough time to ask questions and also some time on their own to think things over.
I made a point of leaving work early, picking Max up from school and stopping off at the local supermarket. I made spaghetti bolognaise, quite unusual for midweek without the usual rushing home from work. But I knew they would be happy to sit at the table rather than the tv and I wanted their attention without any distractions.
We had discussed this and agreed that it was a good idea as the kids could ask me questions as a group or individually. It also gave them a chance to talk things over with Mum as she would be watching the boys on Friday evening while we went to a concert in Glasgow and I was staying at his. I’d be coming home for the football run on Saturday morning and spending the day with the boys, letting them ask anything else they wanted to know. I’d even cancelled my usual night with Lynn just to spend more time with them,
As it turned out, telling the boys was easier than expected. I’d been worried sick about it over the past few days wondering if I’d made the right decision. But I knew I wanted more from the relationship. Ultimately I wanted someone in my life permanently so it had to start somewhere. This was just the first step in my plan albeit I haven’t figured out the next yet.
I waited until dinner was almost finished and said I’d something to tell them.
Getting them to stop messing around was usually quite difficult but they could tell by the tone of my voice that I had something serious to say.
I waited until I had their full attention, took a deep breath and told them that I’d been seeing someone for a few months and that I really liked him and that I wanted to know if it was okay if he came along to dinner on Sunday.
For a few moments, nothing was said, they looked at each other as if waiting on someone else to say something, then David the eldest stepped up to the mark and said
“Mum, we knew you were seeing someone, we can hear you on the phone at night talking for hours, sometimes quietly and sometimes laughing, we knew that eventually you would want us to meet him”
I was speechless, smiling, relieved, “Is that right boys, have you known?”
“Yes mum” said Max, while Jamie just grinned. “We’ve known for ages”
“Well why didn’t you say? Do you know how worried I’ve been about telling you this?”
“We reckoned that you would tell us in your own time when you had something worthwhile to tell us”
With that I hugged them and could feel a small tear run down my face as I kissed each of them in turn. I really am so proud of them,
They might not be perfect, but they are perfect to me.
Note – This additional chapter is her dilemma about telling the boys about the new man in her life.
Its to give some balance from the female POV and fits in between 2 parts told from the male point of view
H18 – Accepting The Inevitable?
H20 – Second Hand First Impressions!
I’ve renumbered some chapters of the book as I go, its still work in progress but only 2 more chapters to go and a bit of adding in detail.
The book when published is going to be called “For Lovers?” after the Pete Doherty song that inspired me to write the first chapter.
I’m running away with you, thats all I ever do
Thats all we ever mean, but I forgive you everything
Meet me at the railroad bar, about 7 o’clock
We’ll talk while the sun goes down, wach the lovers leaving town
This if For Lovers, running away, just for today?
Note the question mark in the title, okay its a love story and like all good love stories it has to have a happy ending, so we know they will get there, but its the journey that makes it interesting.