Cat Update: Kanga is doing much better. She seems to have stopped peeing on the carpets as of about 2.5 months ago; I put the litterboxes in different places and she apparently likes them where they are, and I also learned she is suffering from tooth resorption :( poor baby, so she will be having dental surgery soon.
I wasn't sure such a man actually existed, but he found me! On Plenty of Fish, no less, although I told my parents and the kids we met through a Meetup group. Right about the time he messaged me, I had joined several local Meetups with the idea that since dating wasn't working out, I might as well work on my social life in general. And some of them were great, but I haven't done much with them because of meeting Awesome Guy. When he first contacted me, I was all "No, sorry, you live too far away." Our houses are about 40 minutes apart without heavy traffic - and heavy traffic is common. I'd been hoping to meet someone local I could get to know on lunch breaks without making the kids suspicious. But he said I should give him a chance, and I'm SO glad I did!! We're on the same wavelength with so many important things, both in and out of the bedroom.
After a couple of months I decided to broach the subject to the boys (Princess is too young to be overly concerned one way or the other).
Whiz Kid is 13 now and he doesn't need Mom (hahaha). He basically said "Whatever, it's your life, I don't see what that has to do with me." Lol okay buddy, you're not THAT independent yet! Yes, this affects you. But thanks for not freaking out.
Little Bear was a completely different story. I held off longer bringing it up with him, due to the emotional turmoil he'd been dealing with after our March visit to their dad. When he seemed to be on the upswing again, I mentioned to him on the way to his weekly counselor visit (seemed like the best time to do it) that I might start dating someone. He lost it. The protective, sweet boy who worries way too much about me suddenly turned into an angry, tyrannical little man and went off about HIS family and HIS brother and sister and HIS mom and OUR apartment and how we didn't need ANYONE else coming along and messing everything up and thinking they could just be part of our family and I was absolutely NOT allowed to date! EVER!! Oh and I was totally CHEATING on Papa!
What was supposed to have been a conversation turned into a yelling match instantly so it didn't last long. We were silent the rest of the way to his appointment and it was a rather emotional one. He talked about his fears that having his dad leave prison and not come to live with us would feel like he was still in prison, and another man in my life would be jealous and try to keep them from visiting their dad (we didn't get into the many reasons why visiting their dad might not be safe anyway, that's a different discussion), and his confusion as to why I would need anyone else since we seem to be doing just fine from his point of view.
My poor Little Bear. I had no idea he was so committed to the view that his dad and I were still a team somehow.
The next two weeks were a bit rough. I didn't say anything else directly about Awesome Guy, but I did let them know when I was going on a date. Little Bear insisted that he had a right to know; not sure I agree, but it was a
request demand I was willing to accommodate. Whiz Kid couldn't care less, and the Princess just said it was weird and wanted to know how I could have two boyfriends?! Which led to a brief and painful explanation of how their dad isn't my "boyfriend" anymore and that's what divorced means. She seemed a little confused and has been talking more about her dad since, and is seeing Little Bear's counselor for a few appointments.
Meanwhile, Little Bear had expressed an interest in woodcarving a few months back, and I found out there was a festival coming up this past weekend that featured woodcarving demonstrations. It wasn't far from Awesome Guy's house, so we went to the festival and on the way back, I told them we were stopping at his place to say hello. I figured if Little Bear didn't want to get out of the car, that would be okay, but I wasn't comfortable introducing the other two without him around, and this isn't a relationship that's going away any time soon. It's here to stay, and postponing things won't change the ultimate outcome.
I expected him to be the one who flipped out, but it was Whiz Kid who started griping about all HIS time that I was wasting on a stupid festival and now making him see someone he didn't give a crap about and I should just leave him out of it. Of course this is at least a weekly conversation with him these days, nothing new. He resents everything we do that takes him away from his computer screen. Too bad. I wasn't particularly sympathetic to his cause, and when he vowed to stay in the car and be angry and miserable, I was like "That's fine. Awesome Guy deals with angry, miserable kids all day." They both perked up at that ans wanted to know what that meant, so I explained that he's a child and adolescent counselor. Little Bear's eyes were wide open and he said, "Wow that's actually very interesting!" They both seemed more curious after that. When we arrived they all got out of the car, and of course when he opened the door the Princess marched right in and made herself at home lol. She hopped up on the couch and was all excited about the butterfly pillow and the other pillow that was a perfect size that she always wanted and the big TV and could she watch Spongebob please? And swing on the swing out front? And how did he get such a cozy couch that is so much better than our couch? ROFL she makes a great icebreaker!!
Whiz Kid stomped in and growled a few grumpy answers including that he wanted to be home playing his video games. So Awesome Guy asked him what he plays, and he also plays that game, and then his roommate started talking to Whiz Kid about video games, and about making money, and Awesome Guy told him he can mow their lawn to earn some money because none of the other guys in the house want to do it, so Whiz Kid was pretty stoked about that.
Little Bear was quiet and reserved, but he sat down in the recliner and wrapped up in the blanket from the back of the couch and seemed really happy to be in a comfortable chair, something we don't really have at our place. After we chatted a little and then went outside to push the Princess on the swing, he came out and sat on the swing too. Awesome Guy offered to take us for ice cream but Whiz Kid complained about his day being wasted lol, and Little Bear was mad about that but I promised him we'd go out for ice cream another time soon. I know how good Whiz Kid is at turning fun times into misery, and I didn't want him ruining their first impression. Plus we now have a good excuse to see Awesome Guy again soon.
It really couldn't have gone better, in the end. I'm so, so happy!!!