I guess writing this blog is part of my avoidant behaviour... I'm hiding from the readings I should be doing for my university course... If it weren't for the last minute I would never get anything done!
We have had a really busy week! I needed some recovery time after the weekend spent at university and I took a little on Monday before swinging into action and cooking the 'Aromadorable Gunk' (thank you Carinthia!) in an enormous quantity. Tuesday was to be my introduction to TLOML's "extended, blended, family diner". So on Monday I cooked the sauce and that evening TLOML and I worked our way through my mum's "no fail Pavlova recipe" because TLOML's younger son turned 15 on Tuesday and he had requested a Pavlova for dessert instead of a cake!
The last time (the only time) I made a Pavlova was with mum coaching me through it in the kitchen of my duplex in St Paul Minnesota on the eve of my 44th birthday (2006). Anyone who reads my blog with any frequency will know how often I talk about my mum and what a huge part she plays in my life even now when she has been gone for three and a half years. So it was a lovely and bittersweet occasion to be making the Pav here in my new environment. I was more than a little sad that The Boy (my son) was not here to share the evening (and the Pav) too. I am missing him horribly.
The extended blended family is a very special group who are linked by shared children... it might best be described by an equation, which would necessitate an understanding of maths (which I do not possess) - but I will try...
TLOML and her ex (P) are the parents of the birthday boy (B)
P is now with D and she has two sons (T & F)
T & F's father, A, is now with M and they have two daughters (b & a)
This group generally gathers for "family dinner" to celebrate anyone's birthday or for other special events and on Tuesday night we hosted the entire clan (which now, including me, totals 11). We had a lovely night, the Aromadorable Gunk went over well and the Pavlova was gobbled up quickly. P and D hung out for a while later in the evening after A & M had to get the little girls home to bed. It was really good having a chance to get to know them better. I have some of social anxiety and P had been gently inclusive throughout the evening, especially noting that it was my first "family dinner" and I was grateful for his efforts though I still found the bigger group a bit overwhelming. The after dinner cuppa with P & D was more my style and I was much more relaxed. They both have really nice energy and it was great to let the anxiety go. It's a real credit to ALL of these people that they have such good relationships with their ex's and that the lives of the kids can include this bigger circle of love and support. If it takes a village to raise a child then this group is getting it right. On a personal note P said to me, (in front of TLOML) "I'm just glad you are making her happy" and I think it is the second time he has expressed that sentiment to me. It's wonderful to be with someone who has such a caring and civilized relationship with their ex.
Wednesday saw us gathering with the extended, blended family and a host of their other friends for the Syrian dinner which went really well. I did adjourn to the couch earlier than most but managed to handle the cushion on the floor while we ate. I lost much of yesterday to anti-histamine induced sleep following more itchy and scratchy and here I am today casually writing a blog!
I have been working up to a Roman blind repair project. I have investigated the mechanisms, purchased the cord, bought new split rings to replace the really cruddy ones that are on the blinds and made inquiries about getting a hot glue gun so that I can shorten them. This project is providing a nice distraction from the pile of readings I should be doing for my current course at Uni. Unfortunately I think the pulley mechanism at the end of the blind is dead so I might need to figure out how to replace that or jerry-rig up some kind of replacement. I will walk around this problem for a while longer before actually tackling it. There are (at least) three of them here that need repair. (An excellent avoidance technique.)
Almost every day, while she is at work, I send TLOML a text in which I tell her "I adore you" in a different language, today was Latin (Ego adorabunt te), though I have done languages from Afrikaans to Welsh. It's part of my job description as Officer in Charge of Adoration. TLOML finishes work early this afternoon... I think we should have lunch out and then maybe hit one of the waterfalls on the creek... Whatever we do will be fine though. We both seem to be pretty happy as long as we are reasonably close and not apart for too long. TLOML says she feels so safe with me that she can be a brat, she is too! But it just makes me smile. We are relaxed with each other in the way of couples who have been together for a long time. This has to be the lowest anxiety relationship I have ever been in! With no fights or arguments we have weathered an externally generated problem undamaged and perhaps even more closely bonded. Less than 4 months ago my life was very dark and I couldn't see much in the way of a positive future. My how things can change!
See? I have managed to absorb an hour and a half without picking up a text book!