I bought a ticket to Denmark.
I know what you’re thinking. She’s lost her mind! She’s wrapped up in a torrid love affair with the Dane!
My little brother called me when he found out, “Alaina? You’re flying to Denmark? So you’re really serious with this guy, huh?”
There was an obvious hint of concern in his voice, rightly so. I have a reputation for “losing it” over men. I did marry Benjamin’s father just because he needed a Green Card, we were in love – hence the child – but still, it was “crazy.” I did have a tendency to go crazy over men, but now as a single mom, falling in love just isn’t the same. And I’m not falling in love with Thomas…I can’t! He lives an ocean away… but I can visit him. Besides, it’s been years since I’ve had the chance to go to Europe.
So here’s the skinny on the Dane and why he’s worthy of a visit.
Aside from my friend Mia and her daughter Sydney (who calls herself Benjamin’s sister) we have no one in our lives on a regular basis. I have quite a few amazing friends and a very supportive mother, but when it comes to the daily grind – Benjamin and I are completely alone.
Thomas and I had reconnected through Facebook recently and when he told me he was coming through to visit our college town – where we’d met and dated 8 years ago – I offered up my guest bedroom and my services as hostess.
I remembered Thomas as being completely open, honest, fun and of course, incredibly attractive … but how would he handle five days with a single mom and her two year old? I was a bit nervous as his arrival loomed. Personally, I think Benjamin and I are a blast, but not all men see it that way. What if it would be awkward? What if he didn’t like kids?
But it wasn’t awkward at all. It was amazing.
- He immediately bonded with Benjamin, the two loved each other
- He woke up with Benjamin every morning he was here, giving me a chance to sleep in! A miracle!
- He ran grocery errands.
- Cooked dinner for me (the first time a man’s made me dinner in oh – at least two years).
- I had mentioned that I loved European chocolates, so he found some and surprised me with them later.
- He gave me compliments – lots of compliments.
- He asked me questions and waited for the answers
- And above all, he understood that Benjamin comes first.
These weren’t cheesy attempts at winning my heart, they were just natural gestures of affection and consideration. I didn’t have to ask him for help – he just did it.
So for five days, Benjamin and his mommy were spoiled rotten.
There’s this little thing about being a single mom though – after you get used to doing it all on your own 99.9% of the time, help can be a mixed blessing. Once it’s gone, you have to adapt all over again. Fortunately, in this case, the spoilage only lasted five days. Keep in mind, the guy was trapped with us, all of my ex-boyfriends have had limited face time with Benjamin, which meant limited chances for me to “get used to help.” I do this for a few reasons, the first to protect Benjamin and the second to protect myself. But in the case of a house guest – what are you going to do? Hide him in the closet?
The night Thomas left Benjamin and I were cleaning the car. The traces of our marvelous weekend were tucked in pockets and under the car seats. The New York Times from the bookstore, Benjamin’s soccer ball we’d brought on our hike and the sunscreen lotion from the music festival.
Then, with my hands clutching memories that I knew would fade too quickly, the tears started to fall. He was just so fantastic, such great company and such a supportive friend. And there we were – my little Benjamin and I – completely alone again.
And now you know why it took me so long to write about all of this.
Thomas reminded me that truly compassionate, considerate and affectionate men do exist. And there was romance - but it the kind of romance two people have when there is a profound and mutual respect for each other, not a ripping each other’s clothes off romance. Like Kate Hudson (my hero single mom) has said, “When you’re a single mom, dating becomes very adult.”
You didn’t think this single mama would give up her fabulous singleness that easily, did you?
Now, if Thomas lived in my zip code – might be a different story.
UPDATE: A few days after writing this post, Thomas wrote about the experience through his eyes, read it here.
UPDATE II: See how the trip went.
[Photo Credit: Kwintessential.co.uk]