01 November 2007

Unexpected

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for Halloween last night. The kids don't get it yet, and I don't want the candy. Our house is up three flights of stairs from the street, and we never get trick-or-treaters. I had thought that I would just do what we do on any random Wednesday night: dinner, playtime, bath, bed. But it was a gorgeous, unseasonably warm night and the kids looked so cute their costumes that it seemed a shame not to do something.

I decided to take the kids on a Halloween walk. We went home from daycare, had dinner, and headed out. It was so warm that we didn't even need jackets. The twins were in their costumes, Riley as a ladybug and Maddie as a bumblebee.



We walked around a bit and didn't see any kids out, much to my disappointment. A friend of mine from orchestra had e-mailed me earlier in the day and said he'd be home if we wanted to stop by for some candy, so we walked over to his house. He lives on a quiet street of single-family homes; most houses were decorated, and kids were out in force. It was great, just the scene I'd wanted to find. We rang the bell, and my friend came out with his dish of candy. We set up shop on the porch. I took the twins out of the stroller, and they had a blast climbing up the porch stairs and playing peek-a-boo behind the railings. My friend made us drinks and we handed out lots of candy. It was the most fun Halloween I've had in ages. The twins and I left around 7:45, late for them, but they were delightful the whole time until I tried to put them into the stroller to go home and Riley was heartbroken. I think he wanted to move in.

It was one of those magical evenings where everything just seemed to come together. The weather was right, the costumes were right, the timing was right. It was refreshing for me to get out of the house on a weeknight with the kids, and to have them do so well at an hour when they can typically be serious crabs. But somehow the stars aligned and we had a perfect Halloween. I made it home with only two mini Snickers, so my WW commitment is even still intact.

My best friend and my sister-in-law have both recently asked me if I've thought about whether or not I want to get married again, whether or not I want to date. There are two things I absolutely cannot imagine right now: (1) being physically intimate with anyone; the very thought gives me the willies, and (2) someone other than John being Maddie and Riley's dad. But as I sat on the porch last night and had a glass of wine and talked with an adult guy, and as we handed out candy and people said things like, "Oh, your kids are so cute!" not knowing that the kids were mine and not his, I missed being married. A lot. It would have been nice at the end of the evening to take the kids inside, to have someone else help put them to bed, someone else to have dinner and another glass of wine with, someone to snuggle on the couch with. I really miss that. Most of the time, I miss it in an intangible way. My day-to-day life is what it is, and I don't dislike it. This unexpected glimpse into what I'm missing, though, made that longing for what I don't have very acute.

I'm not ready to date, I'm not ready for romantic love. I don't know when I will be. But someday, somehow, I'd like to have that part of my life back, even though it hurts so much to think that it can never be with John.

30 comments:

Adela said...

What a way to kick off November! That is a lovely, honest and thoughtful post (as always!). Glad you had a such a great Halloween.

I read your blog everyday and often think about you, your twins and John. Sending you good thoughts!

Kizz said...

I was out and about last night, too, and for much of that time I was at a friend's house while they gave out candy. I was worried about my WW commitment but in the end I think that getting out and doing stuff made it easier to stick to and I stuck pretty close to the rules just like you. Congratulations, sounds like a lovely night.

bold said...

While I didn't know John, I have no doubt that what he'd want is for you to be happy.

Someday you'll love someone else, and that love will only be sweeter and more meaningful for what you had with John.

I know I am not making myself clear at all. It's hard to talk about.

Give yourself whatever time you need, but know too that John would never begrudge you happiness.

Sara said...

I know what you mean about being a single parent. It is nice to have adult companionship WITHOUT the romance. And eventually there will come a point (or a person) that your thoughts change on that. You are smart to not rush into it. What a lovely post, and I am glad ya'll had a great Halloween!!

Jolene said...

This post broke my heart. I still don't know how you're getting through this...I guess you have to when life throws these curveballs at you. I truly do hope you find happiness again but one thing is for sure...John will NEVER stop being Maddie and Riley's father...no matter what. So happy you had a great Halloween.

Anonymous said...

As another reader mentioned, from the way you have described John, I am sure he was the type of man who would have wanted you to be happy. That said, however, half of a year is certainly not a long time, and it's perfectly understandable that you're not ready to date.

There may come a point when you still don't feel completely ready, but will know you need to get out there. If that happens anytime before next summer, I wouldn't necessarily be surprised, but I also don't expect to see that written. Dating entails a lot for you - creating new found love, establishing a new relationship and finding someone who you feel can be a parent to your children.

You choosing to focus on yourself and your children right now is the best thing you could do, because it's only going to make you more solid and sure of yourself in the long run.

- A

courtney said...

It sounds like a wonderful Halloween.

Christine said...

Sounds like a great night! When (and if) you're ready to date, you'll know. It's still so soon.

Caustic Cupcake said...

It's so bittersweet. Glad you guys had an awesome Halloween!

Anne said...

Your post made me weep a little. I hope that someday you do find another person whom you can love--not to replace John (no one could ever do that, either as your husband or as your kids' parents) but to share and enjoy the "dailyness" of life with you and your kiddos, both the ups and the downs. I've found that's what I like the most about being married.(Although, since my husband is studying for a certification exam at the moment, the most substantive conversation we had together last night was regarding who was going to take the trash out, and when! Talk about romance!) ;-)

But take it in your own time. You'll know when you are ready...

Becky said...

It was a lovely night all around, and I'm glad that you had a nice time with the kids.

Congrats on sticking to WW!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Sounds like a perfect Halloween night! Gotta love the warm weather in MA at this time of year!
Love and appreciate your raw honesty on this blog.

Lisa said...

Bittersweet is the right word for this post. Touching yet honest. I don't know how you do it.

Anonymous said...

I think you're smart to take your time, and smart to realize that in the future you may wish to date again. Obviously I didn't know him, but John would no doubt want you to have companionship, and to be happy.

As far as the kids go -- I know several families where there is a spouse taking on a parental role with kids that aren't theirs (some instances where the parent lost a spouse and remarried; others where one parent is absent, i.e. divorced and uninterested in the kids, and the parent remarried), and doing a wonderful job of it... the new spouses aren't a literal replacement for the parents who aren't there, and aren't trying to be. But their presence is an addition for the kids nonetheless.

I'm so glad you had a lovely evening with a friend and the kids.

-Shelley

Diana said...

The costumes are adorable and I am so glad you found a nice way to spend Halloween, much better than a regular night at home.

I wondered how Halloween was for you without John since it is a family/kids holiday. Your pain must get very sharp with these holidays and knowing more are coming. Hugs to you. You are doing such a great job. When it is time to move on to a news stage in your life, I think you will know it.

Jane said...

Love the blog! I've wanted to post for a long time but was never sure what to say...your kids are adorable and I second the comments that John will always be their dad. I believe that you will see John again and that he would want you to be happy. As has been mentioned tons of times, it's all about what you feel, so when you are ready, you will know.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Glad your Hallowe'en was so wonderful. Maddie and Riley are adorable in their costumes!

I know what you mean about the longing to have some one to share in the just the ordinary routines in life. And when you're ready I hope that you find that.

kathy said...

I absolutely LOVE when a spontaneous plan comes together!!! Glad your night was great!!

Lucky said...

You are just everything I want to be. You managed to see the coming together of a fun evening through the veil of your grief. Even though I am not in a position to relate, everything you say rings true.
You are an authentic person. A wonderful mother and wife.

winecat said...

Oh those have to be the cutest little bugs ever.

I'm so glad you had a perfect evening you deserve it in the worst way.

OTRgirl said...

Your evening sounds wonderful.

I hear you about recognizing what you're missing and being more open to the theory of something in the future while knowing anything tangible would be really freaky.

Yeah, it would be better to have the both/and version: where John is still the one. Sigh.

amy said...

They are absolutely precious, and you are slowly healing and living, in a good way.

Artemisia said...

Delurking to say your post brought tears to my eyes. It's a long process.

Wishing you three the best - oh, and the babies are just gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Your kids in their costumes are just too precious. Completely beautiful children...

Glad you enjoyed the evening, it sounded perfect.

I hope in time you do feel open to seeing someone. Still loving and missing your husband is so understandable though. I'm sorry.

Julia said...

Cute, cute costumes. And what sounds indeed like a perfect evening.

It must be very hard thinking about somebody, anybody else being the father the twins will remember. That you are missing that adult relationship itself, separate from missing John is understandable. And I do hope that one day you find someone who will fit right, not replacing John, but being the new person you need.

My Life As It Is said...

So glad you went out - sounds like a perfect Halloween for little ones - not overwhelming - just an 'introduction'.

As far as dating, etc. I think, from reading your post, that John would eventually want you to find someone else. He wouldn't be jealous and would want you to be happy, even if that includes being with someone else. And he'd have full confidence that you'd find a perfect male role model to nurture and enrich the lives of your children.

And now, I'm going to get my box of tissues. I so admire your posts.

django's mommy said...

I'm so glad the stars aligned for you...

I was driving to work this morning and thinking about when I would be ready to date- like you, in the abstract I would like to be married again, someday, but I feel physically ill when I think about what that actually entails.

Thanks for eloquently voicing my thoughts.

Tigger said...

People should never ask you those things! It's none of their business. Your grief is your own and you will deal with it when you are ready - your time, not theirs. You will date when you are ready and it's your time line...and if it never happens, so be it! I'm outraged on your behalf. I'm also very glad that you got out and the children behaved their adorable selves. :)

every tenth said...

I'm sure you'll know when the time is right for you. In the meantime, you have two beautiful babies to keep you busy and to remind you about how much John loved you and how much you loved John.

Heather said...

In some parallel universe where my John didn't die we would have been married for 11 years today. I remember very very well the feelings that you are describing.

Your children looked wonderful and I am glad you had a good evening.