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Gmail filters make it incredibly easy to delete nearly a whole year's correspondance with a few clicks.
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 Serendipity is thinking of taking in a show while we're in the City. Any suggestion?

How about live jazz clubs? Is Manny's Car Wash still around? Still good? 

I would love to meet if it's possible. let us know
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Serendipity and I had been talking about taking a short vacation getaway, just the two of us. I'd mentioned somewhere on Solomother that I'd like to go to Savannah, GA -- something he'd noticed and catalogued away, and when our thoughts turned to where to go, he remembered when I didn't.

So we sta rted to mull over the possibilities, but I wasn't terribly enthused, and he wasn't doing anything to move the quest along. Didn't seem thrilling. And the more I thought about it, researching hotels and airfare, the less I wanted to be beholden to someone else's airline schedule.

I just want to get away with him for a while. I started thinking about trips I've taken, closer to home.

Harper's Ferry. Orange, Virginia. North Carolina. And I got an idea.

Now? We're packing the bikes on the back of his Mini Cooper and taking off for wine country, Virginia. I don't know how much biking we can do, nor how much we're in shape for. I'll look at some rails to trails, and probably buy a bike map book of the region to ponder our options. But there's a mystery dinner theater, and celebrations and festivals all weekend. I'm excited.

We've got reservations for a murder mystery dinner at one winery, and there is the 247th annual  Celebration of American Wine. Fencing begins at 9:30AM, all other events at 11. A winding map of wineries to explore.

Last night we went to my friend Erin's birthday party. And it was also her boyfriend's birthday party, as the two of them are what, a day apart? or on the same day? It was so good to see her so happy, and with someone who makes her so happy. He would often seek her out just to kiss the top of her head, or pull her close for a second. and she finally got to meet Serendipity. And he and I sat at the bar and watched the Sox win over the Orioles. And we tumbled into bed exhausted and happy. Woke up that way, too. I wish we could spend Saturday nights at his house again. I miss being with all the boys.

I've decided that, come hell or high water, I will be out of my company and somewhere better by the end of June.

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Serendipity came over last night and we snuggled, and watched more Buffy. His mood and emotions are slowly returning, and Damn, but I missed him. I think  he missed himself. I'm so glad I waited and suffered mostly in silence, and have some better idea now what to do when he hits a trough.

A small thing, but precious beyond words... as we were moving through sleep in the wee small hours of the morning, he twice wrapped himself around me in his sleep. On his own admission he does not do this. And yet he did. And I lay awake, as I usually do at night, and smiled.

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I'm dating a guy with two sons. I'm dating a man who will never be comfortable in the same room as his ex-wife. Too much anger and betrayal there. Probably on both sides. The boys are both quiet, and undemonstrative. Plus, they have a mother. They aren't shopping for a replacement. My son is in a more unusual situation -- his father mostly isn't around. In my son's pantheon, father is still that guy I married, and he's got a pretty immovable place on the mythology of dadness. Serendipity fills a different spot, a place I'm glad he can take, of a role model, a moral compass, a friend to horse around with, a person from whom he will learn. There is genuine affection on both sides of that equation. My son's just that kind of kid, and he's affectionate and outgoing and loud and crazy. Serendipity tells me his kids like me, and since they do talk to me and don't give me attitude, I'll take it as true. The younger son, J, cracked me up Saturday night when he came out of his bathroom in a towel, with a request. I was sitting in their father's room talking to my kid, and the hamper was right next to me. "Hey, would you put my underwear in the hamper?" he asked me. "Sure!" I laughed. "Fling it on over here!"

Their father's birthday is next weekend. Serendipity has mentioned that he might go skiing with the boys. I am going to assume that means we are not coming. It's a strange sensation. On the one hand, I want him to enjoy his birthday, and if that means taking off with his kids, that's really ok with me. Part of me wonders when do we have to permenantly smash the two groups together and behave as a family? I'm sad we won't be able to celebrate his birthday, and I'll still make a cake. We just will have to eat it later, or I'll make two, one for him to take home to his boys.

My kid is five. He's also a very kinetic five. Always touching something, moving, making noise. It's annoying, and we're working on it. I'm such a hypocrite, though. I pride myself on having raised my son in a tribe, but the fact is, there are levels of tribe. My girlfriends, and by extention, their spouses, are authority figures for my son. They are allowed to discipline him if he's out of line. But when Serendipity reigns my son in, I have a panic attack. It's because of who I am, not who he is or even about my son. It's about being the adult child of an alcoholic whose fragile world crumbled with every mistake, every harsh word. Life has to be perfect or it falls apart, but life is never perfect. I've come so far in dealing with that. But I sat in Serendipity's house with  small panic attack running amok in my chest. This is too hard. There might be criticism. He might think less of me or my son. I might be doing it wrong. Am I too indulgent? A million doubts running through my tharn brain because my kid can't sit up at the table. I'm too hard on myself. And this weekend I'm too tired to try to express what's going through my head, though I do tell Serendipity I'm having a panic attack because this is hard to do, this smashing together of families.

What I don't tell him is that I'm withdrawing. On the one hand, I love how happy my son is, how good the boys are together, how much easier my life is when we're all together.  But it's hard. And I wonder how we'll make it all work. I worry that there will always be this invisible line down the middle of our lives, not quite together. I worry that my kid is too annoying, and that Serendipity will decide he doesn't want to be a blended family. Unfortunately, work has taken so much out of me, I can't ask any of the questions swirling around my head. I can just duck and cover, hang on, and wait. Eventually I won't be in crisis mode and I'll be able to see more clearly. Used to be, I'd go into crisis mode and start jettisoning anything that was threatening, or difficult, or less than perfect. Now? I just ride it out, because I know it's just the messed up brain chemistry talking, and eventually I'll be myself again.

But it's hard to be patient, with myself, with my son, with the process of letting other people into our small life. It's damned hard.


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January 2013

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