When you have to go back into your secret email archives to find your username, you know it’s been too long since your last post.
Little has changed, in some respects, since my last post – I’m still at the same job, with the same degree, with the same chum at my side and the same cat on my lap. I still think I’m too short, my back still hurts inexplicably, and I still sing to myself when I’m looking for things or running late.
But creeter-readers, in other respects, everything, everything, has changed.
My mom got married last summer. In 2007, my mom, alone and bored and feeling sorry for herself, did what every bored-alone-self-pitying creature does: started Facebook-creeping old friends to see if she could find someone more boring and less pretty than she was. Instead, she found her old high school boyfriend (whose heart she broke when she ran away from their relationship). 6 months later, I came home from Rome to find her ami in our kitchen.
“Hello,” said jet-lagged, freaked-out moi.
“Hello,” said OhnoI’mmeetingthehostileyoungestdaughter! him.
1 year later, I spent many an evening waiting impatiently for my mom to get off the phone with her boyfriend so that I could use the phone to call mine. Another year after that, I sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness” at their wedding, the song standing next to my mom’s extravagant happiness.
My mom is one of my very best friends (oh, go ahead and boo my clichédness, it’s true). We’ve shared so many ridiculous life moments together, but one I never anticipated sharing was the awkward giddiness of a first date. My chum and I have known each other since 2003, been best friends since 2006, and dating since 2008. Simplified version. I’m missing out on whole lifetimes of one-sided obsessions and non-break-ups and time spent together in the backseat and time spent alone in Mexico. But the point is, my first “boyfriend” (ha! I find that word ridiculous) coincided with my Mom’s (reunion with her) first boyfriend, and it made our relationship into something more than mom & daughter, more than friend & friend. For the first time, I realized my mom was a woman just like I was, and it has forever, beautifully changed us.
When I told my mom that le chum and I were dating, that after 2 years of being friends and awkward friends and then not friends at all, I had realised I didn’t want to live without him, she turned to me and said, “I’m so glad you were braver than I was.”
Braver? I don’t know. I suppose it did only take me 2 years, compared to 35, to realize I was willing to risk changing my known life for one that included le chum. But then again, I didn’t have 4 kids and 30 years of assorted relationship history to take responsibility for, which takes a kind of courage that is only watched on a screen, not witnessed in your own home.
Every relationship takes extraordinary courage. Relationships are about trust, which is about risk, which requires an unusual confidence in both you and in the other party involved; a confidence that is a choice, an exercise, a perspective, and sometimes, an act of faith. Always, an act of humility.
Wish me luck, wish me grace, wish me supernatural courage and stamina. August 13 2011, five years to the day that we became best friends, le chum and I are getting married.
And I’ve never been so excited about where life is going next.