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1:19 p.m. - 2011-01-17
Getting past it.

Mick is outside rearranging the cars in anticipation of tonight's storm. Just like in cities we have snow rules for parking. Okay, Mick has snow rules, he does ALL the snow removal and the cleaning off of the vehicles and he keeps them gassed up too, even my car, so whatever arrangements he wants to make are A-okay by me. Then when he's finished futzing with the cars he's taking off on a mysterious errand. Some legwork for my birthday on Friday. Poor Mick would love being begged for hints and to tease me with enigmatic clues, but the second he says something about gift shopping and such I clap my hands over my ears and say, "La la la la! I can't hear you! Stop thinking about it right now!" It's mostly a joke, but there is the possibility I might 'hear' something and spoil the surprise. I'm no Kreskin, mostly what I get off other people is their emotions rather than their exact thoughts, but over the years I've heard enough to be wary when someone close to me might be thinking LOUDLY, especially when it comes to good things.

I know I've said a zillion times that I don't like surprises, which is true, mostly I don't. But I've come to trust Mick and allow myself the pleasure of being surprised on gift giving occasions. I'm getting the hang of having someone be good to me. Not that I haven't been lucky enough to have wonderful friends who've come through for me in many amazing and loving ways, I have and it knocks me over with happiness when I think about it. But the knowledge that I am the center of Mick's life and that his happiness is dependent on my being happy is mind boggling. Certainly no man before Mick ever believed it was his responsibility to see that I got on okay. If anything it was my job to take care of them and their only duty to me was to be explicit and constant in telling me how badly I was letting them down. Reciprocity was unknown and if discussed was treated as a joke or worse, uppity and outrageous thinking that must be nipped immediately. Oliver Twist asking for more gruel couldn't have outraged Mr Bumble more than me asking the ex to consider my needs occasionally. Mike's affronted anger made Bumble look like Santa Claus.

Happily those days are long over and I'm on a slow but steady learning curve about how to be loved properly.

Well, properly for me. What I need might be smothering or laughable to someone else. Outside of the basics like being treated with kindness and respect the actual mechanics and specifics that make any relationship successful are as unique as the people involved.

Fortunately I've found someone who has very similar attitudes and ideas to mine about what those mechanics are. We're both caretaking kind of people. I see the "I love you" in Mick's tending to the snow removal and Mick sees the "I love you" in meals I make. I could list the tangible stuff like that for pages, but there's more. Of course. Like yesterday when I was so sad Mick was quietly there. Listening when I talked. Leaving me be when I just wanted to hole up and watch Carole Lombard movies. Respecting what it was that I needed, even though every bit of him was aching to drive up to Oswego and knock Alex's teeth out for hurting me. A man of action, my Mick.

Anyhoodle, I'm okay. More than okay on the whole of it. If it's brutal to be the mother of sons like mine, I'm no longer alone as I was before Mick. And he understood when I said with a weepy kind of laugh that sometimes I almost get mad at him for being here. Because now I know what good feels like, you see? In a perverse way it makes the hurt so much hurtier. Before I didn't know any better, I had no basis for comparison. If everything always sucks you can't understand good or want it to be different. It is what it is, capice? Not that I really want to go back. If I can't have all good, I'm grateful for the tons of good I do have now.

This includes you, my dear ones.

Thanks, ~LA

4 Wanna talk about it!

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