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Nuts and Bolts

Mike and I are going on six months of living together. I guess we’ve made it over the hump. Not that I really gave the hump that much thought, but I think in the back of my mind I thought that if living together wasn’t going to work out, we would know it in a reasonably short period of time. Like weeks. Maybe a month. Not that it has all been sunshine and rainbows, though for the most part it has, but whatever differences we have about things gets ironed out rather quickly. We don’t let things fester. No silent treatments, no beating around the bush. Thank god.

I had a hard time leaving my cottage. I had carved out my own little space and my own life. I loved it. Then I went and fell in love. I didn’t fall in love with a single guy who’d carved out his own life quite yet. I fell in love with a guy who was going through a divorce, living in his first crappy apartment, and had two little kids.

So. There was that. But I (we’ve) told that story.

Now it’s the nuts and bolts. It’s the sharing of a small two bedroom/one bath bungalow with a kitchen the size of a bathroom and a bathroom the size of a living room. It’s joint custody of a 3 and 5 year old. It’s changing diapers, wiping butts, potty training, teaching one how to use a fork and the other to put the napkin on his lap instead of his head. Then there’s the what did I just step in?, stop chasing the cat, hurry up, you’ll be late for school, let go of your brother’s face, keep the water in the tub, and the laundry, my god, the laundry.

The nuts and bolts. The little dance we first did around each other. More than once he asked if all three of them were too much for me to handle. More than once I thought I would drive him crazy with my clean freakishness. Is he ever going to get that he should put the dry dishes in the dish rack AWAY before putting more wet ones on top of them? Is she ever going to fucking sit down?

In time I fell in love with the boys, too. That came with with their innocence. It came with raising my own little boy and knowing that I’ve always had room in my heart for more. It came with investing myself into their lives. It came with the trust that was placed in me by their father AND their mother. I don’t take that lightly. It came with wanting to be a positive addition in their lives. It came with a thank you text from their mom for making the sacrifice of going into work late because Mondays and Thursdays are my days to do the drop off. It came with one-on-one time and getting to know them as precious individuals.

Their giggles, hugs, and kisses. Their smell when you nuzzle their necks. The way they say my name. The way Mike had to come to me this morning with all the questions about the Thursday morning routine having taken over for me because of a work meeting. “What about Penguin? Does he go to daycare?” he asked. “No, Mike. He does okay without Penguin sometimes now.”

Because I know these things. The nuts and bolts.

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