I followed my gut.
And my gut was right. It was marvelous.
Cabin Man (who deserves another name all together and will now be called Kennedy) knocked the wind out of me.
We met a few miles down the road from his house. As soon as he jumped in my car he couldn’t stop looking at me and then he said, “You are stunning. Look at you! Now, what in the world is a girl like you visiting a guy like me for?”
“I like you,” I say, “And don’t be so modest, you’re not so bad yourself.”
Suddenly I wonder just what I am doing there. He lives two and a half hours away. We come from different worlds. Me a doctor’s daughter, him the son of a steel worker. But there’s something about him. Something I felt when we met last weekend. There’s a serious spark and it’s not just physical.
We grab some pizza and then head into the woods, to his cabin – soon to be a house, the camp fire is raging and the house behind it is nothing like I’d envisioned. It’s nice, very nice. Trees he dug up by hand, now naked of their bark, line the stairs up to a loft. This one room cabin is eventually going to be the living room of his house.
The project started after he’d found out his wife had cheated on him with his best friend. “Every nail,” he explains, “Every piece of this place was built in a blurry haze of anger. I felt like I’d been shafted.”
Who wouldn’t? And now he’s here, back in his home town, living on his parent’s plot of land and re-building his life.
“But, I’m finally getting it,” he says, “I’m finally understanding what life is all about and it’s fantastic.” His bright blue eyes are squinted from his huge grin and he’s shaking his head. “I just can’t get over it.” There’s nothing I enjoy more than meeting a single parent who has crossed that line into freedom from the past. And he’s there.
After my tour we sit down by the fire. Instead of going out to a local dive bar, as we’d originally planned, we
just sat and talked for hours and hours. He stays in his chair, four feet from the blanket I’m curled up on. Finally, after he’s passed all of my little tests, namely the gentleman test, I invited him to sit down with me.
The next morning we made eggs and bacon over the fire.
“I don’t want to leave,” I said sipping on my coffee. And I really didn’t. There’s something about the woods. I can’t get enough. Disappearing from the city and being there, with him… the sparks were now raging fiercely just like the fire. “I could kidnap you.” He laughs and tells me I should.
“So when am I going to see you again?” he asked. I didn’t have an answer. Logistically we are screwed. He’s a single dad, with a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, both of whom he has every single weekend (this weekend was the one exception all year) and I have a 2-year-old.
I explained this all to him after we started plotting a camping trip with all of the kids.
“Benjamin may not really get it, but your kids definitely will. They’ll see us together and sense that something’s up. That could mess with their little heads,” I said.
“But,” he said, “what’s wrong with kids seeing something so good? I totally understand though. You’re doing the right thing, you’re an amazing mom and I’m not going to intrude. You just let me know what you want.”
And here is when this blog, everything I’ve been writing, comes full circle and my mind wanders to all of the conversations we’ve had about this in the past. But when it’s staring you in the face – this desire to see someone again fighting against the desire to protect your children – it isn’t so easy.
I think a joint camping trip in neutral territory might be okay. I enjoy this man. I want to see him again, but how can I without hurting Benjamin in some way? And what about Kennedy’s kids? How do you really date another single parent?
I call it the single mom dating conundrum. I should call it the single parent dating conundrum. And now, I’m right in the thick of it. Wish I could write advice for myself. Until then, I’m tossing it to all you. Be honest, be brutal. I don’t care. Put me out of my misery.
If you missed the beginning of this story…