I took my boys out of school today to visit the town, house and school where GF now lives. We left yesterday right after school and survived the four-hour drive in the dark. It was exceptionally nice to sleep with GF last night - just to be in the same bed with him and to be able to sleep the whole night through. I derive a lot of comfort out of that. Basically, it was worth the entire trip just for that aspect. I have only rarely spent the night with him because of not wanting to leave the boys home alone. So to have all of us under the same roof, safe and together was very comforting.
The tour at the school lasted three hours. They couldn't have been nicer. ALL the coaches met the boys, plus the activities director and the band teacher, who it ends up knows my son's current band teacher. He said he was going to call him this afternoon to say he'd met my son! They just really rolled out the red carpet for the boys and were practically drooling with the hope that the boys would play football and baseball. I liked how the football coach honestly described the school. He said they are located in a decent blue collar community so the test scores may not be the best but the teachers really work with the students and the school functions as a very strong community. I really sensed that during the tour.
That honest description of the town impresses me. Since my husband's death I've become so much more down-to-earth and less materialistic. Give me a straight up blue collar guy anyday over a stuck-up more wealthy professional. I've had the later with Husband #2 and where did that get me? Just more poor and miserable in the end!
The boys were very polite (thank God) but afterward compalined that they did not see "one hot chick" and that "everyone looks EMO." They have eyes and are observant so they did acknowledge that the town is blue collar. It is a rural farming community but GF's HOUSE is just five minutes from his job and the school is only two blocks away. There is no traffic. It is quiet. There are all the comforts of home - Super Target, Walmart, KFC, Taco Bell. It is not like we would be in the boon docks. Part of me thought about living in such a quiet place with no need to rush about frantically. That was nice, as was thinking about GF coming home to us and me being able to prepare a nice dinner for all of us...
Because of the school's grading period, they would prefer the boys start at the end of the month. If not, they would need to start in March. I finally got up the courage to ask GF if we waited would HE wait for me/us. He said yes but that he is not sure I can make it financially until spring. He has never pushed me to move or threated to leave me if I don't (unlike Husband #2). He reiterates that he hopes I will do so because it will be a better life for all of us. He admits that he knows it will be hard to move.
I did a fair amount of crying on this trip. Tears of tiredness and fear. I spoke to the boys about our difficult financial situation. I told them that I am losing the ability to keep this way of life up on my own.
All these years I have struggled to keep the boys grounded and in this same community and school. Some of it is because I have wanted to make them feel happy, safe and secure. I have wanted to make up for their having lost their Dad to death. I have wanted to protect them from further pain and loss. Only now I am beginning to realize that I can't continue to mount this battle to protect them because in reality I can't fully protect them. And I am realizing that I don't want to keep going on like this - I don't want to keep GF waiting. Maybe I'll protect the boys from loss and pain awhile longer but at what price to my own health and sanity? And even if we reamin living here, there will be difficulties the boys will feel. We'll continue to limp along financially. It is trading some losses for others.
We were given a truly crummy hand with all of this. But I've reached a point where I've been given an alternative. GF reminded me of that offer again today before we left - his willingness to marry and become a family. I so deeply wish that the three of us did not have to travel on this road. I wish my husband had never died. I wish Husband #2 hadn't divorced me. But that not being the case, I have to face this new juncture from where I am standing. This is a new fork in the road. It leads to a new state, a new high school, a new life, a man there for all of us and in bed with me when it is cold and dark. I have never had the strength or courage to travel down the new road before. Maybe this roadtrip has been the first step in that journey.
Today I am grateful for:
1. The warn, clear weather.
2. Walgreen's drug stores (my favorite store since you can buy anything and everything there).
3. Rolling corn fields.
4. The smell of freshly overturned dirt from the corn fields.