This lasted about a week- China Doll was driving me crazy asking when we were going to see Freckle Boy and the single Dad again.
Christmas came. Celebrations continued while China Doll was on holiday vacation from school- and I had a few days off from work. Where to go for New Years Eve? New York? The Harbor?
Or a friends house for their annual New Years Eve festivities. I opted to stay home...until the topic came up with the single Dad and his freckled face son. Why not go downtown and celebrate with the kiddos? I personally found activities/cultural events slim in this small city- I worked there and unfortunately never found too many places of interest. Maybe this was due to my "spoiled-ness" of bringing in the new year in other known *places*
My arm didn't need twisting- but I did want to investigate what entertainment was scheduled for New Years Eve. We certainly wouldn't want to invest in those cute little buttons you wear on your coat- and find the entertainment to be sparse.
I was pretty impressed with the festivities of the evening.....good coffee from Take Five, Irish dancers, Italian food, kids enjoyed a local rock band and other fun entertainment down at the old time square.
It's almost midnight- I'm impressed that China Doll didn't find a corner to curl up in and fall asleep. We are all watching the rose drop with a thousand others.....it's almost midnight. Happy New Year! China Doll who was standing on a curbside planter jumped into my arms like a flying squirrel....I barely caught her in my arms! I smiled at the single Dad and wished him a very happier New Year- better than any other year. He smiled back and wished me the same. There was that stare again.....what is with that stare?
We drove home again in that uncomfortable silence- except for Freckle Boy who was fully awake asking those boy questions- where do the fire works come from....he's hungry (again)....can we rent a movie (it's 12:45 am kid). China Doll fell asleep almost immediately after her seatbelt was fastened. We arrived at 79 Royal and like last months trip to Hershey I jump out of the car with my house keys ready- grab my sleeping angel and thanked single Dad for another great time. Heidi went out for her nightly potty break- right outside my front door- no walk to hide by the pretty green dumpster- pee and lets get inside for some much needed sleep. And thats exactly what we did.
New Years Day.
China Doll and I went over to my parents for dinner. The Florida family members were still in PA visiting. This was a short visit for us....China Doll needed to get a good nights rest- the holiday stretch was about to come to a close for all of us. With this new year- a new opportunity should be coming our way- a phone call from one of the six agencies I applied with should do just fine.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened within the weeks to follow. I'm working and without my fellow caseworker. I now had every caseload. On call rotation every 4 weeks instead of every 6 weeks. Things are getting a little hairy in the shelter. Clients becoming violent- sneaking out past curfew to catch the corner drug dealer for their night time fix- smoking crack in the shelter laundry room (really dumb) - and then there would be the single mom taking off in the middle of the night with her 6 kids all under the age of 7. Try explaining that to C&Y the next morning.
I would at times become a little annoyed at government employees in my field when they would complain about the small amount of "extra pay" they received for their on call.
Extra Pay? What is that? Oh, yeah and the politicians who claimed there was no homelessness or drug abuse in PA. You wonder why they gave me headaches!
I would go home and rub Buddhas belly- burn some incense and grab my yoga mat- all is well for now.
The single Dad is calling- we continued our friendly dog walks, kid related stuff and the occasional no kids dog walk. He still came to get my dog on certain days. After weeks of walking her on his own, my dog, the one I payed for is becoming overly attached to this single Dad. Almost to the point where she could care less about the hand that feeds her. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.....you may end up at 118 Royal!
Heidi was growing out of her satellite ears- she was looking more like a German Shepherd Dog. Her graceful stance and majestic walk- that is when she wasn't being carried back to my apartment by the single Dad. This dog was getting spoiled rotten- and I mean you could smell the rot beginning to rotten before it rotted! I'll admit, I've spoiled my pets but this time I was not to blame.
On this particular day after I arrived home from work- a phone call from the single Dad came right as I was making my famous macaroni & cheese. It was his birthday- he was asking me if I would like to join him for a drink. You mean no kids and adult beverages where I do my hair and put on makeup? I never fed China Doll so quickly- and I had her up at my sisters studio apartment in less than an hour. I managed to find a decent pair of jeans (no tatters or holes in the bum) and a flirty shirt that was (thank goodness) already ironed. Make up, hair done and my cool black high heeled boots (this man is 6' 2"). We went to a local restaurant with relaxing atmosphere and calming music for those of us with jittery nerves. That would be me.
I couldn't remember even talking (I was told that I did talk- a lot) but I listened to every word this single Dad had to say. How long he lived in New Jersey- what happened to his football career- what drove him back to PA to work in real estate- and what he was hoping for that night on New Years Eve. A kiss- but the Chinese flying squirrel ended his step in and just kiss her idea.
That night after single Dad drove me to my apartment- I made two phone calls. One to my sister to find out if China Doll was going to spend the night at her place and the other to my Dr. Phil leader to let her know what just took place. I'm very fortunate that I still have hearing in my ear- Dr. Phil leader screamed in the phone "I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!"
Yeah...what did just happen?
Needless to say our kids were off the chart with excitement about this "date". China Doll took priority to spread the word....after all she was sitting at the kitchen table when I received the "date" phone call. Freckle Boy was already talking marriage. And the two kids together would sneak into the other room to write a song and then perform it for us. Romantic dinners were planned (by the kids)- dinners out with the kids (how romantic can you be at Outback Steak House). Freckle Boy purchased a $2 ring at his elementary school store for his father to give to me on Valentines Day. China Doll and Freckle Boy couldn't help themselves with their behaviors. I'll admit at times it could be rather annoying. But deep inside these two young souls were two very happy kids. Innocence at its finest.
Single Dad and I were in a good place with this new level of our "friendship".
He seems so content.....and ready to move on....no real trust issues with this man....no games...what you see is what you get.
For me I had the trust issues. Smack me- I know. Many of my friends wanted to shake some sense into me. One of my coworkers pulled my hair as she was firmly telling me to snap out of it!
Snap out of the I Can't Trust mode?
There was a ton to weigh out with this relationship. Where was it going? What happens if I move- do I ask him to move to NY with his son? Will Freckle Boy attend school in NY one week and the other week in PA...yeah, like that would even be possible. Do I ask this father to give up his custody and move with me- selfishly yeah I thought about that- but I cared for this little guy with freckles who needed his father. So no that was never thought of again.
And beyond all that mentioned- do I really want to get involved seriously with a man who has a child. I know funny right? My selfishness was worn on my sleeve. I couldn't think about single Dads feelings or Freckle Boys. Only my own. Even worse, China Doll makes it very clear to me she does not want to move- now.
I received a phone call from NY. It's the middle of February. I'm already at the point where the teenage girl tells herself she loves this guy. He is the person I want to see when I get home from work- and the last person I want to see at the end of the day.
As much as I tried to spin the wheel and have the clicker land on TAKE THE JOB.... I kindly informed the caller- no thank you. I just turned down the job that I have waited almost one year for. My ticket out of PA. Our new beginning.
Who do I blame for this? Heidi? Yeah, that dam dog just sat on all my eggs.
Life Lesson: Be a big girl- no more blame games.