When I met my now second husband “D”, I was close to fifty and had never had kids of my own. My first husband and I met at age fifteen and we spent twenty-one years together. Post divorce, I spent the next fifteen years as a serial monogamist but decidedly single. I had never had the “Mom Bomb” go off and for years I fought the prejudice that goes with the childless choice. I love kids but never felt compelled to have my own. Anyway, I was divorced at thirty-six and most guys I met in the combat trenches of the dating years had kids, so by the time I was forty-seven I was used to the family package situation. D had three kids. To be specific, he had three teenagers. Well, soon to all be teenagers and I was about to get a lesson in trial by fire (yet another story for another time). The oldest daughter was sixteen, the “Irish Twin” brother was fifteen and the youngest boy was twelve going on thirty. D and I had dated for a little while before I met his kids because he was not interested in having me meet his kids until he knew me well enough to trust me around them. Not personally experiencing a parental divorce (I had the dubious honor of being the first in my family to get divorced) I figured they had already been through a lot and I respected this rule. I thought it quite sweet because a man that protects his kids is a good man. Not to mention that we had both dated our share of wackadoodles and we were both exercising a wackadoodle buffer period policy.
Over the years of dating men with children I developed a mantra about being a “girlfriend”, “significant other” and “stepmom” to kids. It goes like this: “I don’t care if you like me, I don’t care if you love me, I love your Father and so I love you unconditionally as a package deal. I don’t expect anything in return. You can ask me anything and I will answer honestly and appropriately. I will ask you questions because I want to get to know you better but you do not have to answer any of my questions unless you are comfortable answering them.” Note: this does not mean I am a pushover but I will always be the adult in any given situation. So now that I’ve given my “stepmom mantra”, understand that I am not beyond taking complete advantage of any “Superwoman” situation when it presents itself. On this particular occasion I was over at D’s house for the first time. This was only the second time I had met his kids, the first being in a public forum. D and I were fixing dinner and the three kids were at the kitchen table chatting and getting to know me better. I walked closer to the table so that I had eye contact with sixteen. I was talking and out of the corner of my eye I saw a fly buzz by my head. Without missing a beat or losing eye contact with sixteen, I reached out and snatched that fly right out of the air. I knew I’d caught the fly because I felt it wriggling against the palm of my hand.
My eyes stayed locked on the kids, my face fit for a poker game. I watched their eyes get round and their jaws slowly drop open. I just kept talking as if nothing happened, but the underlying vibe was “Yeah, I’m a Bad Ass Superwoman so you better watch your step ’cause I have lightning reflexes.” I nonchalantly opened the back kitchen door and escorted the fly out, all the while still maintaining eye contact and talking with the kids. Of course on the inside I was going, “Whaaat da fuuuck?”, but they’ll never know that. As this incident perpetuates as a family legend, I want them to always think I’m that Bad Ass Superwoman with lightening reflexes.
And for my next act I’ll be catching a bullet with my teeth.
Have you ever done anything so crazy you even amazed yourself? Has anything you’ve done become a family legend?