There are some things about the reconciliation that are easy. Like being with that friend that you haven't seen in forever but there is no awkwardness. There is a familiarity and ease that is easy to become accustomed to again. Lots of remembering and falling into old habits and routines. Good ones. Most of them.
But I feel like I am screwing up. On the daily. I had gotten rather used to only caring about myself and the three KBs. Not in a way that wished him ill or that didn't care if he or someone in his family was struggling. Losing that family was a massive loss for me. One I am still trying to come to terms with AND repair. I need to start. I want to start. I don't know where. Sorry, that was an aside. But not caring in that I didn't need to ask permission, or to share our daily schedule or check in with finances/plans/teaching schedule/etc. I didn't have to ask anyone but me. Remembering to check with a partner is not coming along as quickly as I would like.
Part of me thinks, well, it was kinda easier the other way. In that way. I was the boss of me and the kids. This is not to say he tries to be the boss. That is to say, there is freedom in the hard of single parenting. You can go and do and be without letting someone else know. Without asking permission. Without running it by them. I had gotten used to it. By default. Then I began to enjoy it. Now it's a matter of unlearning that. There is another adult in the house. Another adult human to whom I am responsible. Why can I not remember that?!?!?!? Honestly. It is not that hard. But I stumble. A lot.
Then he reminds me that I didn't ask or say or give him all the details and I get defensive. Like he is pointing out a flaw, an error, a place where I have come up short. He isn't. I get that. But that's what it feels like. And I add it to my list of places where I need to retrain my muscle memory. It is a long effing list. So it seems like the reconciliation is taking more work than I anticipated and in unexpected places. It takes time. It's taking time to learn even where the work has to happen. Aside from the obvious places. And it hasn't even been six months. Which is a blink in fifteen years together and almost two years of "the asterisk".
So that's where we are. I don't know what is on his list. If anything. I haven't asked. Am I supposed to know? I feel like that would be laying out a buffet of tender spots and bruises. Open for inspection and discussion. That's a vulnerable place I am not yet ready to visit. So I work on remembering to ask, to give details, to let him know what the hell is happening. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I don't. Like when we went and visited friends. To hang out and swim in the lake. And he didn't bring a suit.^ Cuz I forgot to tell him about that lake part. So, yeah, baby steps.
^Side note - MUCH easier for boys to swim in non-bathing suits than girls. So at least I remembered mine. Which I think, though, proves the point of what a mess it can be when I stumble. Yeah.