Old Flame visited, as promised, this weekend.
Amazing. I was convinced he was going to flake on me until he finally called Thursday night. I was working very hard on getting okay with whatever the outcome was, practicing being in the moment, and was very tired, so fell asleep at 9 pm. He called before 10, as requested, and woke me. (Normally I never sleep with the phone where it can wake me but since I went to bed before nine, I decided to give him a pass.) So we chatted a little, he confirmed his travel, and since I was half asleep, I admitted, "Oh, I thought you were going to cancel."
We went to a party on Saturday afternoon so I could see our mutual friend, Calliope's godmother, who had a really rough week.
After that, we left Calliope with my downstairs neighbor (who is one of my closest friends) so we could go out to dinner at a nearby (and totally amazing) restaurant.
It was so much fun to be on a date! To have dinner in a nice restaurant, and sip a glass of wine, and flirt, for God's sake. We had tons to talk about and he gave me quite a few sort of smoldering looks that I don't know how to react, because I'm awkward like that, so I grin sheepishly and quickly drink some wine and look away.
Today: the farmer's market and playground, then the beach at Coney Island. It turned out that the beach with a toddler wasn't great as a romantic destination because Calliope mostly wanted to run along the water's edge, trailing a discarded Mylar balloon, but it was fun. This makes conversation challenging when someone has to stay near the stroller with all of our valuables. Still, he was great and made sand castles with Calliope, and even took her swimming (I was too much of a wimp to go in).
He left late this afternoon, after reading a few books to Calliope. She can't say his name, Chris, so calls him "Kiss."
Oh, the irony.
I'm not bothering to keep her away from him because she's too young to be aware, and she meets lots of my friends. But she definitely took a shine to "Kiss."
Probably because he was completely amazing with her.
Like, on the beach, he starting digging a big hole in the sand with her. Without prompting. It never occurred to me to show her how to dig. She was in heaven, knocking over the little piles of sand he built up for her.
He was also really nice to me. Very generous and kind and nurturing.
This afternoon, right before Calliope was removed from her imprisonment from the crib, I asked if he wanted to have a conversation about his two comments from the Ithaca weekend (the "I'll be your sperm donor" and the "I love you," neither of which I responded to) and he said "maybe" and then made sure to, ahem, distract me. So I decided to leave them alone.
He made multiple allusions to coming back soon, talking about how he could travel directly to LA for work from NYC and then come back again for a second weekend... but we didn't make any actual plans.
Which is fine by me. I think I need some time to digest.
It was a really great weekend. It felt easy, and fun.
It also made me feel like my head was going to explode.
Having my child and my... lover?... in the same house was completely bizarre.
The idea that he could see me in my natural habitat, doing my deal as a single mother, and still be interested in me romantically seems unfathomable. I mean, what's sexy about mothering a toddler? (Answer: nothing. At least from my perspective.)
I don't know what to think about how great he was with Calliope. I never imagined that. He said that ages 2-3 are his favorite. But it's still somehow shocking to see him initiate interaction with her way more than he had to. It made me feel really strange... because I kind of loved it. It never occurred to me that someone could actually really enjoy my child like that. Of course, it also freaked me out a bit. But I found myself smiling a lot. Which, again, freaked me out.
I haven't asked him what's going on with divorce, or when it's supposed to be final. (He has previously offered to answer any questions I have; I haven't asked any so far.) I know that he is in prime territory for a rebound relationship. I know I wasn't looking for any sort of relationship. So I'm cautious. At least, I hope I am.
I also know I really liked being with him. And it didn't feel like I was trying hard, or being someone that isn't really me. Which hasn't been true with my dating experiences in recent years. And that felt really great.
My goal for the next few weeks is to stay calm, to enjoy this, and to stay in the present. Not an easy challenge for me sometimes. I feel good, if a bit overwhelmed, right now. I hope I can hold on to the good part.