Fear is a powerful motivator. I know this because for the first time in my relationship with The Wedding Date—actually, for the first time in my life—I find myself afraid of losing someone. In the past, I’ve always been the one to walk. The one to decide that this relationship is going to take a lot of work and the reward (the relationship itself) isn’t worth it. But now the tables are turned. Now The Wedding Date is telling me, “Listen, I don’t want this to sound like an ultimatum but I need to know: do you want to be with me? And if you want to be with be, can you handle being with my kids?”
It seems like such an unfair question. Especially when my preschoolers have their final concert of the year tomorrow which means I’ve got to finish laminating their class project today, stuff all of their year-end goodie bags, transport all of their music and props and mats from the studio down to the auditorium, spike the stage, set up the lights, label all of the chairs and—oh yeah—keep 30 little beach balls engaged long enough to conduct their one and only onstage rehearsal before the big day.
I want to tell The Wedding Date “Can’t this wait?” But let’s be realistic. He has a right to know. And after tomorrow’s concert, I have just one day to pack before I’m off to Denver for the weekend, then after Denver I’m back in the studio to finish getting ready for my other student’s recital. And as much as I’d like to think that my life is going to calm down once the school year is finally over, I know it won’t.
Which brings me back to my original point: life isn’t fair. If it was, it would have been me and not Kate Middleton wearing all of those cool hats and hanging out with the Queen for last week’s Diamond Jubilee. And Prince William would still be good looking (as opposed to ruddy faced and bald) and he would be an expert salsa dancer and I would be a billionaire because I’d be able to sit around writing books all day and— as the wife of the future King of England— I’d be an instant best seller.
Instead I’ve fallen in love with a man who has two children. A man who loves me back and happens to be an expert salsa dancer for real. He tells me that he knows he’s got baggage— that he knows it’s a lot to ask—and that he just wants me to be myself, not some diligent daughter-in-law to be or step mom extraordinaire. Why on earth does it have to be so complicated?