I didn’t mean to come back after such a “long time no write” with such a bomb, needless to say I didn’t expect the bomb itself.

I’m tired, sleep deprived, PMSing and overreacting as usual, but it’s a detail that caught my total attention. Because really it’s the first time.

The first time ever I find myself considering the possibility of dating a guy with children. The question was raised as I first approached online dating and my answer was categorical: no. I’m not sure I could provide an exhausting justification, mainly it had to do with the fact that I don’t want to have anything to do with any child at all.

There is nothing going on with Marcel, there has never been and facing the facts, there will never be. I prefer to blame it on bad timing, because now that I’m back to being single he is seeing someone and he spent ages alone while I wasn’t, but truth is, for all I know he doesn’t even find me attractive.

We see each other maybe once every two months, I would say he is a friend, but really he joins our group every once in a while and I don’t know much about him. Still I like it when he is around, I like looking at him. It’s not an obsession, it’s the nice chance you like to carry around in your pocket, waiting to be brought out in case the situation was right.

Still, yesterday I was particularly receptive, especially when he took his shirt off and unbound his hair. I was looking forward to spending the afternoon with him amongst others, to maybe try to connect a little more, try to explore the possibility to become friends for real.

And then this. Just as I was getting changed after the race and putting on one of my best summer dresses to impress him, he was outside showing pictures of his son to the rest of the group.

I’m not good with kids, nor good at talking to people with kids, or about kids. This was basically the trifecta. Although… it is only and solely my personal problem. He is not getting married, it’s not his current girlfriend, he doesn’t live with his kid. But all of that somehow made it all even harder to figure out. Because as of now, at 31, what I can understand is getting married and having a baby, or having a baby without being married. Or having kids being divorced. This situation is an anomaly. And what he said about it and how he handled it and the decisions he took… it all just makes me like him even more.

It was like imploding. Everyone was shocked, because it was sudden and because it was presented us so much later than it occurred in his life. I was allowed to be shocked too, but I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. Nobody knows. I had to keep it together and that probably did much more damage than the rest. It could flood out only as I was driving back home alone. And even then, I couldn’t find the words to explain what happened to anyone else. Because nothing happened, it all started fireworks in my head but reality was completely unaltered.

What hit me at first was thinking that I had to give him up. That if he had a child, I could not be with him now or ever because I just can’t face having to deal with a child. Because I can’t explain to someone who has children how I think I would never have any and how in the very end to me it kind of feels like an abomination. I felt the need to retract, because I felt like he would have never accepted me anyway.

It wasn’t until later that the thought crossed my mind, not entirely for the first time, that it could be the best solution for me. I not only refuse the idea of imposing myself upon another human being and having my personal life destroyed by the presence of someone else constantly needing my entire attention, which is a point of view that I suppose with time might change, I also mostly dread the idea of being pregnant myself. I know how hard this is for everyone else to accept as possible, but the idea of something growing inside of me, makes me think of a tumor, not exactly a life. Being with someone who already has children would be a possible compromise, to not be forced to turn down someone just because I don’t want children and they do, possibly enjoying the teaching sides of parenting without having to bear children myself. But this is sci-fi.

And then there was this completely new side of him.

A side where he still smiles talking about life’s hardships, where he endured all of the pain of the situation for years without telling anybody, the side where he was ready to settle and give  up his needs for the sake of somebody else’s peace and quiet. The side where we, as a group, are not relevant enough in his life to be part of this secret until now. But that’s understandable.

But I know what it means to keep a secret, to spend time with people, laughing and chit-chatting, trying not to think about that one obsessing thought while all you’d want to do is spit out all the bitterness and the stress just to discharged your overflowing mind. And I’m sorry he had to go through it. And I wish he could have shared this with me, but the premises weren’t there.

And then he gets all excited about LARPing and I can’t help thinking we should really give it a try, if only he let me.