Cabin Fever, Part 4

by mssinglemama on October 6, 2008

Two and a half hours after I’d bundled him up into the back seat with his blankie and a pile of books, Benjamin and I pulled up to Kennedy (aka Cabin Man)’s. Bang-smash-crush-bang. The divets and holes in his unfinished driveway were giving the underside of my car a severe beating.

“Wooo!!!” I shouted as we hit another one.

Benjamin joined me with a little shout of his own. I had just spent the last leg of the trip singing out loud to him. First to Feist then Old Crow Medicine Show and finally Bob Dylan. He sat incredulously as I sang, until finally – a few verses into each one he would crack a tiny smile before moving his eyes slowly back to the road. The ride had been perfect but he was ready to get out of the car.

Kennedy and his kids were sitting around the camp fire at the edge of the driveway. We’d nixed the joint camping idea. Why camp out when we could camp here – with his parents’ house right up the hill – it would be easier, safer and more comfortable for the kids.

“Hey!” He comes up to our car and then grabs me in a hug, wrapping his chisled arms around me. No! No hugging, I think.

“Hold on,” I pull away, “I can’t say ‘Hi’ until I get Benjamin out – he’s been so good the entire way here.”

I open the car door and scoop Benjamin up in my arms.

“Hey Ben!” Kennedy says.

The words drive Benjamin’s head into my shoulders and he keeps it there until we step into the cabin where Kennedy has resurrected his son’s old Thomas table. Benjamin jumps out of my arms and shouts in delight. I smile and whisper a thank you.

Two weeks ago this table had been buried in the back of the cabin. That morning felt different than this one. We were alone then, basking in each other and the highs of finding someone new. We had pulled the table out a bit to look for a train I could take home to Benjamin. After Kennedy picked Duncan because of “the cool gear that turns” I had tackled him with a kiss.

Now we were both knee deep in kids.

“You watch these two and I’ll watch this one while I grab this!” Each of us must have said this at least five times. His 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter are beautiful… Kennedy says after he and his ex split both kids changed dramatically. “It was like night and day – they are both so much happier.”

We spent the afternoon carving pumpkins, feeding the horses, drawing pictures, making paper airplanes and jumping on the trampoline. After the kids were tucked in – Benjamin in a camper and Kennedy’s kids up at his parents house – we met by the fire. Like the weekend before, the conversation turned toward relationships. (Something, believe it or not, I’m not a fan of talking about with virtual strangers, let alone men I’m just exploring.)

“I’m not sure if marriage is for me,” he went on, ” I just don’t think I can give myself over to someone again.” Why do we keep ending up on this topic? He’s still hashing it out in his head, as we all are I suppose.

“I think the trick is realizing you shouldn’t have to give yourself over to someone to be in a relationship,” I say. Then I have a realization of my own – this man is still wounded, still bleeding. Or maybe it’s scabbed over, but he’s not letting anyone back in – not even for a second. After a few more hours of talking and some quiet time in the cabin we headed to our respective beds.

The next morning he couldn’t take his eyes off of me while we were sipping on our coffee – the kids were running around in the cabin behind us – and then he said, defeated, “So, this really is going to be impossible isn’t it? I didn’t understand exactly what you were trying to get at before – but now… but now, I see what you mean.”

“Yes.” I say reluctantly, his blue eyes are so incredibly clear. I want to dive into them but I can’t. The little pile of red flags I’ve been collecting is now filled with a few land mines. The biggest one being the fact that we can’t see each other without our kids around – dangerous. The second being his raw healing process, still unfinished.

So I drive the nail into the coffin, “It just can’t happen.”

“It’s funny,” he adds, “Because I feel like this weekend has been a little lesson for me, in what I can expect now – how it’s going to be.”

“Welcome to the club,” I laugh.

The single parent club.

Dating, for us, is inexplicable. It’s like nothing we’ve ever experienced before… this is a universal truth.

A few hours later and after some home made popsicles, we said our good-byes. Strange saying good-bye to someone who you’ve just connected with so deeply, someone who you think you may never see again.

I’m so glad I decided to go… thanks for your advice.

And Benjamin is just fine.

If you missed the beginning of this story…

Cabin Fever, Part 1

Cabin Fever, Part 2

Cabin Fever, Part 3

{ 2 trackbacks }

My Dream Boy
March 24, 2009 at 8:08 am
Dating Single Parents: Can it Work?
May 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

SingleParentDad October 6, 2008 at 7:10 am

Welcome back.

Another fun adventure for you two, and you were dishing out lessons too. Putting out fires all over the place, hopefully not the camp ones!

Sounds like you’ve had a great and worthwhile weekend trip, if a little frustrating on the ‘it will never be any more’ level.

But definitely reads like you made the right decision by going, well done you.


LJ October 6, 2008 at 7:36 am

I am so glad you went. 🙂 Life is for making memories.


T October 6, 2008 at 8:30 am

Yes, of course he’s fine. He’s fine because you are too.

Glad you at least gave it a shot.


jonb October 6, 2008 at 8:43 am

I am glad you went, you both took somehting from the experience which is what life is all about. He needed to see that romance as he knew it has changed forever, but that is not a bad thing at all. It is just different.

You two may not have been meant to be together forever, but in that moment, you were put in each other’s path for a reason. There are no coincidences. But having the chutzpah to go for it made the moments you shared memorable and special.


Raiizza February 4, 2015 at 2:30 am

I love the wedding video. I would love to have you pgopohrath Luke and Adrian’s wedding. I don’t know how these guys are going to come up with enough money for a wedding. Poor Adrian doesn’t even know if she will be able to come up with enough money to go back to college next semester. Time will tell and the Lord with provide. We will see I don’t know if Philip will be far behind in the wedding department. He will probably deliberate longer and take longer to get engaged,but he is dating a wonderful young lady keep you posted.


Laura October 6, 2008 at 9:15 am

I am glad you went – sounds like it was fun 😉

Sorry it didnt work out – I kinda felt like this with Soccer Boy – I felt a real connection but it just wasnt meant to be!


Jenni February 3, 2015 at 5:51 am

You know, I don’t know that I’d be able to homeschool if we lived in a cold cltamie and were stuck indoors for much of the winter!!! O_O I’m able to send them outside most days! It’s in the summer that things get a little rough because of the HEAT, but it’s still summer and cheery looking outside. lol *hugs* I hope spring comes soon at your place!


Kgrrrl October 6, 2008 at 11:52 am

It’s unfortunate that it can’t work – but at least it shows that people like him exist – a great connection and maybe some day…
I don’t know – I just like the fact that you got that connection, it’s hard to find.
Maybe you can keep up a friendship. It’s nice to have friends who understand.


LTP October 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Sorry to hear that it was over before it could really begin….but who knows? Crazier things could happen! I have much to catch you up on as well…..


mssinglemama October 6, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Yes Kgrrl, definitely a good feeling to know good men exist – always nice!

And Laura, I have got to come read about soccer boy… sometimes you just know it’s not right.

LTP – catch me up! Send me an e-mail.

SPD – thanks, as always, for your kind words.

Jon B. and LJ – definitely agree on both of those counts.

And T – He’s almost home isn’t he? Every time I see your comments I just think about solider man. Sigh.


April October 6, 2008 at 7:29 pm

It’s better that you went and got answers to your questions. (And now you understand a little better my no dating decision, right?)


Valerie October 6, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I completely understand and give you kudos for recognizing it sooner than later rather than try to force it and get in too deep. I had something similar…incredible connection but the pieces didn’t fit and we forced it time and time again until the final straw where we both got hurt.
I wish I would have followed my gut as you have.


PT-LawMom October 9, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Aw man. 🙁 Well thank goodness he was able to see it. Would have been challenging if you had to fight him off with a stick. Still, how depressing for both of you.


Savored Life October 9, 2008 at 5:29 pm

So glad you went! 😀

You crack me up with the “It just can’t happen.” I still think “You never know…” 😉 I’m a HOPELESS romantic though…shoot…I’ve got Romeo (2500 miles away) visiting me next week…he’s the epitome of “it just can’t happen” from perhaps a realistic view…but…you know what? … “You never know!”… and I’m sure as heck not gonna throw in the towel….it’s just too amazing to do that. I will savor EVERY minute! 😛


mssinglemama October 9, 2008 at 6:42 pm

He just texted me to tell me he’s going to see Palin speak. Definitely a “not gonna happen.” YUCK. Can’t believe I was actually attracted to a Republican. Like the Crying Game or something.


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