When I first started seeing S there were lots of things to think about. It was a big change, I'd been single for a long time, and we used to be really good friends. There seemed to be so much at stake, so much to lose if it all went wrong. One of my biggest concerns at the time was that I already had a child. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't as if he was a secret, but when was the right time for the two halves of my life to meet? I've always been quite good at compartmentalising my life - work me, mum me, woman me and me me. If you're anything like me, you have a plan on how things will work out (and we all know how those go!). I'd always planned that D would meet any potential boyfriends early on, then if he didn't get on with them, that would be it, game over, no matter what I thought of them. Then I spoke to a friend, and she got me to look at it in a different way - did I really want my child to get to know a succession of men, only never to see them again? (There's an important note to make here - there's never been a succession of men, not even a small patrol. When I say single a long time, I mean it!). S was of much the same opinion - he didn't want to get to know D, only to then be a man that he never saw any more. Didn't want to get to know him until we were all sure that it was going to work out.
Gradually though, S and D have got to know each other. Evenings, afternoons, meals out, even the momentous occasion when S first stayed here while D was here. You never really get to know someone though, till you're with them 24/7. The first time for that sort of occasion would be our holiday together, and I've already blogged about how nervous I was about how it would work out.
I really hadn't allowed for food poisoning though. In Cornwall. I'm not exactly well travelled, but I've been abroad on the usual package holidays, and the only time I've been ill was in Turkey. I've got a fairly iron constitution, and I imagine that I'm immune to most things. Fish and chips were my downfall. I know! Could it be more ridiculous? I spent virtually the whole night in the bathroom, throwing up for all I was worth, but every time I stumbled back to bed, I kept thinking that in the morning I'd be fine.
I really wasn't.
There was no way I could get out of bed that morning. D peeked in on me when S told him I'd been ill, all concerned for his mum. S peeked in at varying times, to make sure that I hadn't choked on my own vomit. I tried to keep involved, but it's difficult when all you can do is shout instructions through to another room. S made D some breakfast, then I could hear them playing cards and watching the TV.
I shouted through useful things about getting dressed and cleaning teeth. (Both of them).
I heard them playing board games, laughing, joking, making lunch together.
I shouted through instructions about having fruit, tried to get up and failed miserably.
The sun came out after a cloudy morning and I tried to encourage them to go to the beach although there didn't seem to be much enthusiasm for the idea. I regretted the idea of having a traditional chip shop tea, and contemplated never eating again. I lay in bed with no energy at all, and drifted off to sleep, woken intermittently by the sounds of football in the cottage garden, voices raised in laughter and excitement. By teatime, I'd made it to the sofa, and managed to join in with a round of Monopoly. Even that wiped me out, and I drifted off to sleep again as S took D to the shop to get something in for tea. I woke up and they were back, D excitedly telling me about the massive ice creams they'd had while they were out. S made tea for them both (and dry toast for me), and they sat down to sausages, mash and beans, every child's favourite.
S was really pleased when D finished it all off, telling him that it was absolutely delicious. I love S to pieces, but he's no chef, and I think it made him feel really appreciated. By D's bedtime I was managing to sit up, and could take him to bed, where he pronounced that he'd had an absolutely great day, and he'd really enjoyed it. I thanked S for looking after him so well, told him that D had really enjoyed it. S said it was a real baptism of fire but he'd enjoyed it too.
And me? I'd always known that S was the man for me, my soulmate, and to see him getting on with D so well made me understand how much he was going to be part of our lives.
PS The next day S commented that he'd been really disappointed with his mashed potatoes - D agreed and said they weren't nearly as good as mine. At S's raised eyebrows, his response was "I didn't want to tell you yesterday, and hurt your feelings".