I know it’s been a while, and I’m not even going to apologise. Nope, not sorry!
The last month or so has been a really important recuperation time; it’s been so vital for me to take a break from stepmummery (or at least from writing about it…) and focus on reweaving the last few fraying threads of my normal self back together.
For those who’ve asked, my visit to Scotland was gorgeous. Short, yes, but filled with the generosity of friends, beautiful landscapes and cities, reconnecting with faraway cousins, exploring the history and the galleries, the parks and the tearooms (and the vintage clothing shops!) of London. I’m a hopeless history/vintage geek, and my much-younger cousin Rhys was enormously patient with my pokings and peerings around important Tudor-era landmarks and through the delights of every stinky vintage boutique in London….
(To be fair, he’s a very cool guy and *may* have enjoyed the vintage shopping even more than me. Clearly, I’m getting old!)
More importantly, I was able to stand beside my dear friend in the emotional lead-up to her wedding, tie what felt like a gazillion trios of ribbons onto napkins, administer spa treatments as required, get lost on the way to Sainsbury’s the day before her wedding and emerge five hours later with more boxes of grissini than three hundred of even the hungriest kilted Scotsmen could manage to devour. I got to be there to soothe her meltdowns and speak on her behalf as her family at her wedding dinner.
All of which turns out to have been unexpectedly good training, because….. the Lovely Man and I have recently gotten engaged and plan to get married late next year sometime! We’re both very happy and excited, and delighted by all the good wishes we’ve received.
I expected very mixed responses to our engagement news from the Boys, but on the first weekend the Lovely Man had the Boys after we became engaged he rang me from their city (it was his extra weekend with them, so I was at home in our main city) before getting on his plane to say that their initial responses were (mostly) fairly positive.
That was the Lovely Man’s take on it, anyway, eternal rose-spectacle-wearing optimist that he is. Reading between the lines I gather that “fairly positive” ranged from excitement and enthusiasm about the idea from Boy C, who is definitely mercurial but generally pitches his emotional tent in the “delighted with life” campground, to kind of neutral-ish pleasedness from Boy B, to less-than-overwhelming-jollity from Boy A.
And fair enough, because why would Boy A be pleased?
One thing I have learned about being in a stepfamily, though, is that initial reactions don’t mean much and it’s always, always a process. I’m sure that more stuff will come up for each of them. Maybe it already has.
I’m not sure whether it’s a Y chromosome thing, but rarely do the Boys display much in the way of fears or concerns about something when they first get information about it. Usually it seems to take a while to simmer their worries or upset to the surface, so we’ll be on the lookout. No doubt the fur will fly at some point.
I have never considered myself any less the Boys’ stepmum because the Lovely Man and I aren’t married, so it doesn’t feel like the “start of a family” or anything with regard to them. In practical terms I don’t imagine anything much will change about the day-to-day life of our household(s).
In non-practical terms, though, beneath all the fussing and planning and the congratulations of our friends and family, beneath the champagne and flowers, we are both simply and utterly overjoyed to be marrying each other.