I think single moms put too much thought into introducing a guy to their child. I let JD meet my new friend this week. Breathe in, breathe out. But there were boundaries and I naturally freaked out.
My book Rattled! (Broadway Books, 2009) launched on Audible.com and Apple iTunes on Monday. (Shout out to single mom and actress Emily Bauer for killing the recording!) It was a big day for me and I was proud and super excited. I didn’t have a babysitter for Monday (I didn’t know in advance about the launch date) and I planned for my friend to come over at 9 PM when JD would be fast asleep (something we’ve seamlessly done a bunch of times now). On the way home, 9 PM seemed so far away and I was bursting with adrenaline from the book news! I couldn’t wait to scoop up JD at day care, hug him and whirl him around—but I also wanted to see my friend. In a moment of pure distraction, bliss, excitement, I texted him to just come over and eat with us. After I sent the text and he said, OK, my stomach sunk and I was like, Holy Sh*t what did I just do.
When I got home and settled with JD I opened up a bottle of wine and poured a glass. Then I texted my friend with rules: OK, so don’t hug me, kiss me, hold my hand, embrace me or be flirty in front of the baby, OK?” He wrote back “LOL, OK, I promise.”
I neurotically texted back, “No, I’m serious. No affection in front of JD. I told him you’re my friend.”
And he is my friend. But he’s kinda more at this point. (I know my longtime glamour.com Storked! readers are doing happy dances right now.)
The thing is, JD has met and chilled with my platonic guy friends, but I’ve never freaked out about them coming over, because there was never anything going on. I am one of those women that really does have guy friends without anything else on the side.
I started heating up lasagna and chicken parm that was homemade (and delicious), but leftover from the prior evening. My phone rang. It was the downstairs buzz-in. Breathe in, breathe out.
“Bud, Mommy’s friend is here,” I said and I really felt like I was gonna pass out.
“OK, Mom! I will hide! I am a NinjaBOOOOY! KAAAA-RATE!!” he said running into his room.
I opened the door before my friend got to it and he came walking down the hallway, smiling with a bottle of wine. I smiled back and laughed.
“Congratulations on your book,” he said and handed me the bottle.
“Thank you,” I said and smiled. And he smiled and I let him in. And we didn’t do anything physical. And he didn’t try and I found this respectful and adorable.
“Bud,” I called. JD came running out smiling. He was barefoot, wearing little track pants and a Spiderman tee.
“This is *Joe,” I said. “High five it out!”
JD was up until his usual bedtime. We all ate, talked, played. I cleaned up.
It was innocent and fun. And completely unassuming on all ends. It was...normal.
You don’t need to tell your kids, “This is Mommy’s special friend”—that’s where you go wrong. It’s like when your kid falls at the park, if you make a big deal, they cry and make a big deal. I’m not making a big deal out of anything relationship-wise until I’m sure. And I’m not sure. This is the fun part. The dating and finding out each other's fave movie, food, color, vacay desitination. But, I think it's OK to let him know JD on this very basic level. JD is the most important person in my life. What a sham, not to show this little beautiful boy off.
Discuss. Commence with the happy dances.
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