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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Wait a minute. Was this guy flirting with me?

Cute?  Yes.  Around my age?  Likely.  Similar interests?  Maybe. 

Here I am at Jack's Tee Ball game this afternoon, trying to be the "perfectly" supporting and encouraging mom all the while doing my best not to hover.  I finally get Jack to walk on the field to practice a bit with his teammates before the game starts.  I nonchalantly take a step back away from the players to lean back against the fence only to find myself side by side with this man, father of one of the littlest players, father of the young girl who helps out the Coach, which would in turn make him the husband of the coach, right?  Well, that's what I thought as I engaged in casual conversation with this man after he asks, "hey didn't I see you at the Red Apple 5K?"  Well, yes he probably did see me at the Red Apple Farm 5K.  The 5K that happened in November, almost 6 months ago!!

Who remembers someone he sees 6 months ago?  Okay. He's nice.  It's cool to talk running with someone.  BUT,  isn't that his wife in front of me kindly encouraging my son to hit the ball with the bat and he's insinuating that he "remembers" me from a race 6 months ago?  Here I am dressed so "appropriately" for the game; summer skirt, spaghetti strap tank and all.  Not cool.  There's his wife just a few feet away patiently coaching these 4-6 year olds playing Tee Ball.  I can't possibly be "that" girl chatting up her husband on the sideline about running no less all the while wearing a flirty skirt and tank?!? NO, I will not be that girl.

Jack saves the day.  Jack decides he doesn't want to play Tee Ball today.  So, away from the fence I walk to help my dear boy recognize he is part of a team and he needs to try to do his part.  "Just one inning bud, give it your best!"  Recognizing that I am hovering, I step back away from the dugout only to find myself again standing next to this man who I assume to be the husband of Jack's Tee Ball Coach.  More questions come.  Have you always lived in Gardner?  Where did you move here from?  I answer the questions simply and he goes on about living in his multi family house without mortgage , blah blah blah, since he got divorced and all.  WAIT, hold up.  Divorced?  He's divorced?  Divorced from her, the amazing one of a kind, gentle, encouraging Tee Ball coach? Well....phew.  Now I don't feel so awkward talking to this man dressed in my bright summer skirt and tank.

So then I reach to the far back end of my mind to remember all those things I am supposed to do to show him I'm interested.  Eye contact, listen, ask questions.  Alright, I can do this.  Right?  Sure..well...I don't know. Out there on the field is Jack's Tee Ball Coach.  You know the incredible coach I've already raved about.  She's his ex-wife.  I am an ex-wife.  I wish to bring no harm on anyone.  So, is this okay?  To possibly meet a guy with his ex wife only a few feet away?

As an ex-wife, I have witnessed different women come in and out of my ex-husband's life.  And that was hard at times, real hard.  In the beginning when another woman was introduced, I would fume.  I would remind him that NO ONE takes my place when it comes to mothering Jack.  A bit extreme?  Likely.   But it was painful, truly painful to think someone would take my place as mom to Jack. Time has passed and things have gotten better in regards to the women my ex husband has met and become involved with.  Do I dare say I actually liked the last girlfriend and current woman he spends time with now?  Do I dare say that I recognize both women as good people who are likely good influences around my son?  Sure I say it because it's true and it is also true that no one replaces me as Jack's mom.  I am not a perfect mom, but I am a good mom.  A well intended mom. I believe on some level that my son knows this.

So, here at this Tee Ball game talking with the ex husband of my son's Tee Ball coach, I refrain.  I hold back.  I do this because I am an ex wife and I can't help but recognize there is an ex wife on the Tee Ball field.  The ex wife who might just happen to notice her ex husband chatting it up with the girl in the skirt.  The ex wife who just might feel the slash to her heart or the drop in her stomach.    Or maybe she is the ex wife who just rolls her eyes, gives a little laugh, and says to herself with a wink, "good for you, I'm not surprised you are chatting up the girl in the skirt, thought you may have done so sooner", a reaction I might likely have today if I were in her shoes. 

Time, the grieving process, and finally acceptance can do wonders.  I hope for my ex that he finds someone to spend his life with who is a good match for him.  I hope I find the same for me.  Is it possible that Jack's amazing, incredible, kind, gentle coach might feel the same for her ex-husband?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But, next game, with a little help from my friends, I just might, just MIGHT open myself up to the possibility an uninhibited interaction might bring me.

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