Clark and I are in a good routine these days. He loves his new preschool and is making friends, telling me all about the things he learns there - what a chrysalis is, why leaves fall off trees, how he and his friends were pretending to be circus elephants. Most mornings he sits on the kitchen counter and makes hot chocolate (with my help) while I pack our lunches. His staples are rice and beans, steamed or roasted broccoli, string cheese, and three raspberries. (His favorite number is three, because he's three years old, and he always makes sure that we stock up on raspberries when we go to the grocery store.) He had a string of tantrums last week, which was exhausting for both of us, but it pushed me to set clearer boundaries and be more organized about bedtime and breakfast time, which was really good for both of us.
My news is that I'm dating someone! I've been thinking a lot about how to announce this. It's important for me to be open and honest about my widowhood, but writing about grief and sadness feels a lot more socially acceptable than writing about looking for new love. But as I've shared this news with people close to me, I've received only support, no judgment, which makes me a little braver in writing about it here.
I've been going on first dates for a little while now, which in itself has been a really nice break from being a student and a parent - a chance to meet new people and talk about things besides exams and construction vehicles. First dates are a nice escape, but they were starting to feel futile. And then I met Mike. During our first date, we connected in a way that surprised both of us. Since then, I've been enjoying the happy butterflies of a new relationship, the pleasures of having a sweetheart and of being someone's sweetheart. He buys me flowers and cooks me dinner, and he embraces the not-so-easy parts about my life, like my grief and my commitment to medicine and my son. Just as I was getting comfortable (?!) doing the single-mom thing and envisioning my life as such, this relationship came along and reminds me that maybe I will remarry, and maybe Clark will grow up with a dad - things I've thought about all along, but up until now were pretty abstract.
This relationship is still very young, but it's pushing my grief along in a new way. I have to remind myself that I will always have Scott and that forging a new commitment is not betraying him. That Clark will always have a connection to him. That I am not leaving Scott behind when I am excited for the future.
As always, thank you for reading. This space always helps me to articulate things I'm muddling through, and I'm grateful for people willing to listen. Much love.