Tear-filled goodbyes and a difficult introduction

Back to reality. Whatever that is. Kids are home from their month long trip to New Mexico. They stayed with Mike’s mom Dinny and her husband Frank in Las Cruces. From all accounts, the trip went swimmingly well for everyone.

Dinny brought them back yesterday and flew out of Birmingham today. About an hour before she left, Avery asked if he could go back to NM with her. “Just for a day.” And then he asked why she couldn’t stay here longer. Oh God, I knew what was coming. A big burst of tears after he said goodbye to her at the airport. Absolute sobbing. And I thought to myself, “I don’t remember him crying like this after his dad died.” Of course, he was three then and surely didn’t know the ramifications of what had happened to his dad.

“We’re not going to see grandma for a long time,” he said in the car.

A mere two hours later Marley came to me in tears. Our neighbors Anton and Lena and their children–my children’s best friends–are moving to New York tommorrow, and of course she doesn’t want them to leave. And Lena is also Marley’s piano teacher. Damn, I think, my kids have had more than their fair share of loss in their short little lives. And then I start crying, too. Almost two years ago to the date, their best friends at the time, Patton and Taiyou moved away. Within a week Anton and Lena moved in three doors down. And less than two months later, Mike died.

Flash knows all of this, and empathizes with my children’s pain, but says, “but they are also about to get a daddy,” referring to his moving over here sometime early this fall.

But my kids don’t know that. Yet.

Neither does anyone on Mike’s side of the family. Hell, I agonized about telling Dinny that I had a boyfriend for weeks before I told her about Flash. Just isn’t a normal rite of passage you read about in Dear Abby, telling your beloved mother in law about her late son’s replacement. Yikes. So it wasn’t with great joy that I introduced the two last night. Slightly uncomfortable for all of us, I imagine. Cordial enough we all were as we sipped Smirnoff and nibbled appetizers. But I felt bad for everybody and strangely guilty about it all. Such an unlikely and unnatural meeting.

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