Steve and I have been together just shy of 4 years, now. Lately, I’ve been noticing how my thinking about ‘Us’ has evolved. I keep my late husband’s last name, always, to retain that common bond with my children. I have internalized Jim in many ways, as my sister pointed out in a recent comment. I am adding a sense of past, present and future with Steve. I wrote last about celebrating birthdays with his sister and brother-in-law. I do feel like I’ve joined his family throughout a year’s worth of life events now: holiday dinners, post-surgery visits, weekly breakfasts, etc. Now I’m feeling the reflected perspective of work colleagues who met us as a couple. We’ve been invited to our first party! Totally un-family, totally unofficial (although with friends from work), like a real social engagement based on what we do as partners. That’s a new thing for us.
A visitor to the museum met us while my daughter was touring the facility for the first time. I took Emily into the wagon shop to surprise Steve (neither of us knew she was coming). The visitor thought we made such a happy little family reuniting, that she asked if she could take photos. After her visit, she sent this photo to the Historic Society and asked if they’d forward it to us. She included some very nice comments about how delightful and kind we were. I look at it and think of Emily behind her, making me crack up.
We are eager to go off on our next adventure – a 3-week road trip to “Metaphorical Montreal & Maine”. Where we actually end up is immaterial. The adventure is continuing to forge our partnership, responding to new situations like dancers in tango. We are becoming more graceful, more complementary, even though we have many more decisions to make.