May 24, 2007

The Meeting

I was reminded tonight of the strength of anticipation.

You see, my kids' mom told me a couple of months ago that she had gotten engaged to J. My initial reaction I think was a mix of anger and shock - mostly I think because E and J had only known each other for at most 6 months prior to deciding to marry. 6 months when 4 young kids are involved just seemed hasty.

I had made a point of not asking the kids about J. He lives a few hours away, so they only see him every couple of weeks. They talked about him a little, revealing little bits of info that didn't exactly make me feel very secure that he was going to be permanently involved in their lives.

They told me he talks a lot about farting and has showed them a web site where you can download fart noises. I learned this after questioning my then 6 year old daughter when she used the word fart in conversation with my mother. Now I've nothing against the word fart or farting, but I'm of the opinion that the word is best left to conversations between teenage boys or adults acting like teenage boys (which I do, not infrequently).

The kids also told me J works with tools. Great! The roughly 1/3 of my multi-6 figure salary that I send to them is going to be supporting the guy that's swinging the hammer and smoking pot at the home renovation next door.

I had asked E about meeting J after they got engaged. We had a little trouble scheduling it, and finally tonight we met. They came to my house after I had put the kids to sleep, and we sat on the deck and all drank a beer and talked.

Now I had absolutely dreaded meeting J. I had him pictured wearing greased blue jeans with a black bowling shirt with his name engraved, a slicked back mullet, and a tattoo on his arm of a heart with an arrow through it. I was certain he was the picture in Webster beside the definition of redneck.

But guess what?

J seems like an alright guy. He doesn't swing a hammer - he sells industrial tools to commercial accounts for a multi-billion dollar company. He's roughly the same age as E and me (although he's already all gray - poor dude...), and he graduated from the same university.

He's easy to talk to, not physically intimidating at all (and no mullet, and no name engraved on his shirt...), and said explicitly that he is not an axe murderer or a child molester. He apparently has even gotten the FAA/TSA extensive security screen that's optional for people who fly a ton and passed that, so I guess he probably isn't on any sexual predator lists.

I didn't ask him about the farting infatuation...

I admit I still don't like another guy having such close access to my kids. But I also will admit that I think I'm going to get along with, and maybe even like, this particular guy.

Before they left after sitting around together for an hour and a half, I even managed to tell them I was genuinely happy for them.

And I was happy to get this meeting over with...

And I'm happy that the real reality isn't nearly as bad as the anticipated reality. At least not yet...

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

14 comments:

Bike Chick said...

I'm glad the meeting went so well. :) I'm sure it was a big relief to know that you like him.

Know what I'm thinking...the fart thing might have been a way for him to try and impress your kids. He probably thought they would think it was funny.

It's going to be so much better for your kids if you all get along and they see it. My mom really likes my stepmom now and they could be friends if they lived in the same state. It was hard growing up though when my mom didn't want her around and it felt like we had to choose (like at graduation or birthdays) which parent would be there.

Donald said...

What a weird situation. Sounds like you handled it very well.

Matt said...

I takes a lot of strength and compassion to come to that realization. Very impressive. You've impressed me twice this week with the way you've handled tough situations.

RunBubbaRun said...

Definetly a tough thing to go through.. But we do all of it for our kids sometimes. And that what really matters.

Bill said...

Definitely agree with Bike Chick's comments about getting along.

I'm not a fan of my ex's choice in husbands, but it's not my choice. And he wasn't involved with any part of my divorce from my ex, so there's no need for animosity.

And it's much easier on my son that we all get along.

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Whoa, that's a tough one. Nice job though, I'm glad it went better than you expected. You're kids love you for it :)

ShirleyPerly said...

I think divorced couples moving on with their lives is good. When my husband's ex remarried and he found me, things were a lot better between them. Though we're polar opposites on many issues, we all got along fine at her high school graduation, wedding and most recently, her college graduation. My step daughter's always thought she was special to have two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents. I think she's right!

Megan said...

Sometimes our own minds can be our worst enemy - the things they can dream up! I am glad to hear it worked out well, and having worked in child welfare for so many years, I completely understand the worry.

Kylie said...

I'm glad the meeting went well! My parents divorced when I was about 2, and I know that things between them got weird with my mom's marriage (now thankfully over) and way way way better when my dad married a great lady. So here's hoping this makes things that little bit easier for you!

ironjenny said...

That couldn't have gone any better if you think about it. There is a great comfort in knowing that when your kids are with E, they will have yet ANOTHER kind adult looking after and caring for them.

I actually get long really well with Bob's ex, too.

You realize that I have a long list of fabulous single girlfriends, yes? Do you want to go on the MN version of The Bachelor???

LoneStarCrank said...

High road is usually the best. And in this case the less drama the better for all involved.... especially your kids.

You are rock solid on keeping them first...with all of your training and work, that's not always the easiest.

Bigun said...

1st - congrats on your 1/2! 2nd - as a kid who's parents have remarried a total of...5 times...it's important for the all the adults to somehow get along. It's great that you are making an effort - I'm sure that down the road you'll need her effort with your new bride. Maybe not "need", but at least you can now ask for it....

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Regarding Jenny's post... she IS the date coordinator :) AND... they are always good ones!

Laura

21stCenturyMom said...

Youch! I just sashayed over here from Stronger's blog. I'm glad your meeting went so well and he's an okay guy. Admittedly, I have been single for many, many years because I never met a guy I wanted to let get close to my kids. It's difficult. Having a comfort level with your ex's soon to be spouse is key.

Props to you for figuring out how father 4 kids, be a doctor and train for an IM. That's quite remarkable.