A few weeks ago, Mystic and I were heading out to the movies, and Nick and Madeline were staying home with a babysitter.
“Say goodbye to your Mom and Dad,” she said to the kids.
I waited. To see what the kids would say.
“He’s not our Dad!” Nick piped up. “He’s Mommy’s… boyfriend.”
We answered at the same time, and I answered with “my special friend.” Ugh. Where the heck is that whole “Beam me up, Scotty” moment when you need it? Calling him “my special friend” was not one of my more shining moments.
I mentioned it in the car. “I didn’t mean it like that…” Mystic laughed.
We had the whole “we’re not going to see other people” talk months ago. And I know he refers to me as his girlfriend. And the kids certainly call him my boyfriend. Heck, Nick had a “wedding planning” pack of papers that he started carrying around and scribbling in some two months into the relationship. Mystic apparently doesn’t scare easily. Bonus points for that.
But I’ll admit it. I’m not a fan of the word “boyfriend.” I told him I feel like I’m going backwards. Like I’m back in high school.
“Well, was high school a good time?” he asked.
“I guess so.”
“Significant other,” to me, means more like a husband or wife. “Partner” doesn’t feel right, and feels like a completely different type of relationship.
A few months back I would refer to him as “this guy I’m dating.” Stellar, yes?
When The Ex and I used to be out and about and would run into someone he knew, he would always forget to introduce me. And that was when we were married. It’s not terribly hard to say, “This is my wife.” It used to make me crazy.
Now here I am, the one doing the same thing. Only I’m not doing it on purpose.
Part of it is that although it’s been nearly three years, I still hate that our little family became a statistic. That the kids’ mom is “dating,” and not married to their dad. I know it’s common, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy progression. I am forever a work in progress. But we all are.