Last night I was getting my daughter ready for bed. She had just gotten out of the shower and I was toweling her hair dry when the phone rang. It was T.
Me: Hello? T: I just wanted to call and tell you I love you. Me: I love you too. Let me finish here and I'll call you back. T: OK. Talk to you later.
After I hung up the phone, my daughter asked me who was calling. I told her it was T.
"How come you told him 'I love you'?" she asked. "Well, T is very special to me." I answered. (she is 7) "I've heard a boy tell a girl 'I love you' or a girl tell a boy, but never a boy tell a boy." She continued.
Without getting into too much detail with her, I told her that sometimes boys like other boys and girls like other girls and that's OK. She seemed to accept that answer and went on to the next thing,
Almost a year ago, K and I sat down the 3 boys and we told them I am gay and T is my boyfriend. We did not tell my daughter because we figured she was too young. But we always said if she asked questions we would tell her the truth.
Yes, I know today is Mother's day, but but I have a father story tonight.
Yesterday I was hanging around my house for the morning while the Dish Network guy came and installed a new dish on my roof. I am finally upgrading to HD. K had some errands to run and the younger kids wanted to hang out at my house for the morning. I was delighted to have them over.
They came over and, as usual, they asked to go to their friends house to play. Of course I let them go since I want their visits to be enjoyable. I was glad for the time I got to spend.
After a while they came back with their friend asking to go the a local park to play there. They each had a Light Saber and they wanted to use the stuff at the playground as their Death Star. What could be more fun than that?
So we end up at the playground, and it really is a cool one. It's was build at the local YMCA and open to the whole community. The kids had a blast. Even thought I had other things to do, I really liked that they were having a good time. While they played, I spent tome watching the other people there. I not the other kids so much, but the adults. There were a few moms that seemed to be there alone. There were several men there too, but all of them seemed to be there with their wives. As far as I could tell I was the only divorced dad at the park that day.
This was the not the first time I was at the park with the kids since my divorce. But this was the first time I gave it much thought. I remember taking my kids places and thinking that people might think I was a divorced dad. At that time I wasn't and I remember thinking how lucky I was to have a rock solid marriage with K. Today that is not the case.
I don't think I was troubled exactly just because I am divorced, I am more thinking about how things change. I am thinking about how important it is that I keep a close relationship with my children. I was glad I brought them there to play.
I am glad that they asked to come over to my house.
Since I have been an adult, No one has ever fought for me. Never has there been a time when someone stood up, got in front of me and said, "No! He's mine and you're not going to hurt him!".
Even as I wrote that I makes me feel a little uncomfortable. After all I am a man and I should be able to take care of myself. And I can. But sometimes, I want someone to stand up for me. To say that I am the most important thing in his life and no one is going to get between us. Even if others may not like it right away. Even if it causes some temporary conflict, I want him to hold me and tell me everything will be okay. That come hell or high water we, together, is the most important thing in his life.
One of the traits I inherited from my father is a disdain for confrontation. I tend to avoid confrontation whenever possible. This trait has actually caused me a lot of problems over the years in both my personal and professional life.
Occasionally however, I have felt so strongly about something that I have been forced to push back, even against people I care about.
Shortly after K and I got married there was something about her that my father did not like. He told me about it. A bunch of times, in fact. Finally I had to tell him to stop. I had to remind him that K was my wife and I loved her. I heard what he said and I didn't want to hear about it any more. This was not a nice, pleasant conversation. It was highly animated. There was a lot of yelling and I ended the conversation my walking away from my father grabbing K and heading for my car.
I felt strongly that my dad was wrong. I felt strongly I had to defend my wife. And we had a confrontation. He never mentioned it again.
The next time I have to have an ugly confrontation on K's behalf, was during the planning of her sister's wedding. Again, I am not going to get into all the details, but suffice it to say that it was bad enough that I was compelled to go alone to her parents house to confront both her parents and her sister. Again, it was not pretty. It was not a pleasant conversation. There was a lot of yelling, mostly me yelling at her family.
I felt strongly they were wrong. I had to find a way to make them stop doing what they were doing to make my wife miserable. Weeks later I found out K's father told her that he was impressed with how I stood up to him for her.
I would never advocate confrontation for the sake of confrontation. I still like to avoid it when I can, but sometimes, there are things worth fighting for.
I have been thinking about the times lately when I am the happiest. There is one time that sticks out in my mind.
It's the times I am with T. We don't have to be doing anything cook or fun, just being with him fills my heart with happiness that I find difficult to describe.
This past weekend I went to see T. After a dinner with his family, we went back to his house. We headed straight up to his room and closed the door. He took a quick shower and came out hearing these thin lounge pants that I bought him for Christmas the year before. He looked so good, especially since he was free-balling and it showed.
I love just being with him. I am so comfortable, so at ease and so safe. I just can't think of any place I would rather be.
Spend most of the evening, laying between his leg with my head in his lap... sleeping. I dozed off on him and he let me sleep almost 2 hours. He could not have been that conformable with me laying on him, but he didn't complain and didn't disturb me, but let me sleep.
I really love him.
I spend a lot of time alone... even when I am not alone. I spend a lot of time at K's house. I spend a lot of time with my kids. Except when I am working, I have people I love around me a lot of the time. Even these times I am lonely. It's not because there are no people around. It's because there is one specific person NOT around.
I know he is SWAMPED at work. I know he is trying his hardest to be less swamped and is not having a lot of luck. I know all that but I still find myself lonely a lot of the time.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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