Last Thursday I flew to see BC since my hardy but aging Indy (aka my vehicle) needed a new transmission. We had a lovely reunion just the two of us before her daughter came home on Friday after school. In fact I had a very quiet day because BC worked at the office for a change so I was able to get grounded here before a packed weekend. Many Fridays are movie night for them and this time we got Chinese take out and watched Bolt, which I had never seen. For your reference it's okay, nothing great but cute for kids. After the movie we all went upstairs and read in our bed, wearing our jammies with the small one in the middle - it was very sweet.
Saturday morning her daughter and I were on our own since BC was out doing her long run (she is training for a marathon) and I made pancakes for breakfast, keeping some warm for BC as I knew she'd be hungry when she returned. Later a friend came by and we took the girls to the Cleveland Zoo despite the less than stellar weather because that day was the last for the special dinosaur exhibition and the small one is All.About.Dinosaurs. For dinner we made individual pizzas and the girls played until it was time for bed.
In the morning the small one begged off horseback riding lessons, something she rarely does because horses and dinosaurs run about neck and neck in importance in her universe, so she could hang with her friend some more. While BC ran out for eggs (we had planned on a quick cereal breakfast before heading out to the stables), I started the bacon. After breakfast the girls tormented us sweetly pretending to be moving rocks, ghosts, and other undefined beings, which we then tickled until they ran from the room only to return sans blankets to ask what all the noise was about. After her friend went home we went to Patterson's Fruit Farm to indulge in apple fritters and to bring home apples and a pumpkin. It was a perfect fall day, foliage alight everywhere, families bustling around the farm, smells from the bakery drifting in tempting waves.
That evening after dinner we all took a soak in the hot tub, talking, giggling and generally having way too much fun. At one point we were all cuddled up together, under a dark sky with a few stars twinkling, steam forming where the hot water met the cool air and it all felt simple. After the small one went to bed I felt so tired and reflected on how lovely and surreal the weekend felt - in many ways this is one version of life that I had envisioned for myself, and had given up on yet here it was being dangled in front of me as if to ask me one more time, "are you sure?". The answer is no, I'm not sure, I was never really positive I didn't want to be a parent, it was more that I felt I couldn't be, that I don't really have what it takes. It doesn't mean I don't still want it, it doesn't mean I have finished mourning roads not taken, it doesn't mean that sometimes that physical ache of what never grew inside me is gone forever. I certainly never planned or thought about getting involved with a parent; that I am now does not make me a parent but it closer than I've been in a very long time and now the ache has changed - in some ways it is stronger, in some ways that void is being filled just the smallest bit but with no promise of what the future holds for this fragile seedling of something that could be family, my family.