3:48 p.m. - 2013-07-04
Despite all my misgivings, despite feeing burned by M and never wanting to get burned again, I know it was a good decision and a healthy one. I feel like my kids and I have a family now. I have another person to cook with and share the kids' energy with and adult comments and adult humor with.
She helped me move all my shit into her house and she never got bitchy or territorial or made me feel bad.
I knew I was doing the right thing when I was up in my attic late at night bagging up baby clothes to donate and thinking about my children, babies, wearing those clothes; how happy we were; how happy Matt was (I thought) to be a daddy and have a family with me. When he told me he wanted to move out -- leave me, and his 2-year-old daughter who adored him, and our son-to-be -- I asked him, "Are you insane? Are you INSANE???" I thought he had a brain tumor.
And I still felt that way, holding and smelling our babies' clothes, wondering if I had really stopped waiting for him to come back.
Then A came up to the attic. I was sad; she was sad but wouldn't admit it. "I'm fine," she says. I put my arm around her and tell her I don't believe it. A, who has made it a point of never "losing it" in front of anyone for her entire adult life, leans into me and sobs into my neck, "I want my grandma back."
A's grandma, who practically raised her, died last week from cancer. She has been dying since February and A. has more or less shut the door on any feeings since she went to see her grandma six time zones away in March and her grandma was awful to her. She acts like losing her grandma isn't a big deal to her; I know this isn't true but I don't know what to do or say.
"I'm sorry," I say. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I haven't asked more."
"I've been trying to keep my shit together. Every day, I'm trying to keep my shit together."
"Who are you trying to keep your shit together for, A?"
"I don't know," she says.
She lets me hold her, and rock her, like one of my kids, while she cries.
I think about the baby clothes, and Matt, and I don't care anymore. Leaving was Matt's choice. He made it, and this ship is sailing without him.
A has spent her whole adult life keeping people at bay, emotionally -- which is how she managed to hit 30, single. She needs me because I somehow convinced her to take down the wall; I need her because I need to have someone actually need/deserve me more than my husband does in order to feel morally OK with breaking my marriage vows and leaving him.
I need her for a million other reasons too; the controlled, self-sufficient, common-sense-ness of her makes me feel safe. Best of all, she knows that happiness is a choice, and she chooses it. She doesn't taking me, or the kids, or anything else that's good in her life, for granted. I love that. It makes me feel like I actually have a partner in life. Matt, who was a workaholic, was never more than a part-time partner.