BIG STEP:Introducing A New Man to the Kids
I introduced him to my children. Not as my partner. Not as a close friend. But as a ‘friend of a friend’ who needed a place to stay as he passed through town.
This was a big step for me. I’ve never done this before – never even considered it in the two years I’ve been divorced: I introduced my kids to man I’m dating.
Everyone says you shouldn’t introduce a partner into your children’s lives unless you know it’s serious. Kids get attached and the last thing they need is another goodbye.
But after numerous discussions with girlfriends and family, I decided to go ahead and try this. The bottom line is that because this man lives out of town and my ex so rarely sees the kids, I’ll never get to know him if I only see him once a month… And I do like him.
So how did it go? What was it like spending time with a man and my kids?
I must be honest. It was wonderful. So much so, it surprised me. My kids adored him. They were all over him, giggling, talking, even trying to give him a wedgie.
We played baseball. We played soccer. We all cuddled on the couch and watched the movie, Sinbad. He tucked them in bed with me (my kids asked for him). He sat at the breakfast table with us, telling them how he normally eats Captain Crunch…and of course that was followed by “Moooooom! How come WE don’t eat Captain Curnch?”
And my kids laughed. And they giggled. And they hugged him. And they followed him around.
I smiled. I felt it in my chest. It felt good - sharing our weekend, sharing each other, pretending to be family. There was a ‘man in the house.’ No denying it.
I’m not going to do this again until I know I’m serious about this man. For even though he only visited for 24 hours, my kids cried when he left. They’re still talking about him, asking about him. I keep minimizing him to my kids – he was “just a friend of a friend who needed a place to crash.” But the imprint he left on all us that weekend was undeniable.
I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to share the joy of children with a man. I’d forgotten how precious ‘family time’ is when there is a male presence. In a way, while he was here, I felt a bit ‘frantic.’ Unsure of what to do. He doesn’t have kids, let alone three young ones. Were they bugging him? Turning him off? Was he overwhelmed?
I’m used to defining our family as me and the three kids. No other adult around every day. Our family is Mom and the three kids.
Throw a man into the mix and there is a new energy. An energy that felt like ‘coming home.’ And now, when I play soccer or baseball with my kids, I feel a bit at a loss – like a male energy is missing from the team.
I just don’t know if this wonderful man is the missing player.
(Written Year-Two post-divorce)