Friday, April 11, 2008

Old but new-in-a-way news

Oh. My. God. This eVite nonsense will not die! Yesterday I got a reminder e-mail, saying that I hadn't responded on the Web site. It might be an automatic function, but the note in the e-mail seemed to have been written by the hostess. The three close friends I mentioned the other day? Haven't responded either. Heh. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!


I've been trying to think of news that happened during my blogo-hiatus, other than moving-related news, and so far I've come up with only two things. They're fairly big, though. Daniel took his driving test--and on his 19th birthday, too. We went back to Mayberry so that he could take the test with one of the instructors from his driving school instead of at the BMV. We met his dad there about an hour before his appointment because Daniel was going to spend the weekend with The Ex. Daniel wanted to use the time to practice parallel parking because he hadn't done it since the previous summer, when he took driving lessons. Christ on a biscuit. He had NO idea what he was doing! After 10 years in Chicago, parallel parking had become second nature to me, so I couldn't figure out how to explain to Daniel what he was doing wrong. The Ex was giving him useless, contradictory hints, and I got huffy, and things devolved from that point. Finally, I said "Look, we're making the poor kid nervous! Let's just head over to the driving school and hope for the best."

Daniel was barely speaking to us, and I can't say I blame him. I paid for his test, and the instructor told Daniel which car she was going to use. (The school tests students on its cars, which is good because Daniel was familiar with them from his lessons.) He stalked out to the parking lot, and the instructor smiled reassuringly at me and said "He's nervous about parallel parking, right?" "Oh, yeah," I replied. She said not to worry because she gives that portion very little weight in her assessment. Mainly, she wants to make sure students know the steps, not whether they can actually get the car into the space because they use parallel parking so rarely.

While they were gone, his dad and I paced the parking lot and fretted. With it being Daniel's birthday, I kept thinking of the long wait for him to be born. In a way, I felt as though I were going through that process all over again, but this time a full-fledged adult instead of a baby was going to pop out. (Uh, ow. I just had to cross my legs and wince.) When I saw Daniel pull into the parking lot and jump out with a huge smile on his face, I almost collapsed from relief. He passed! Now he just has to pass the written test, but he decided to do more reviewing before taking it. I'm going to pick him up next Tuesday or Thursday, when he has a three-hour break in the middle of the day, and take him over to the local BMV. Keep your fingers crossed he passes that portion, OK?

The other piece of news: The Ex and his wife are having a baby! He called me about a month ago because he was nervous about telling Daniel, remembering Daniel's reactions to the prospect of siblings when he was much younger. The most famous episode happened shortly after I started dating Kevin, when Daniel was 9. He sat down with me one day and informed me that he DID NOT want any baby brothers or sisters and wanted to know "my plans." He also quizzed me on whether I was taking birth control! It makes me laugh now, but at the time? I was glad he was aware of birth control but not very pleased at being lectured on preventing conception by a freakin' 9-year-old.

The Ex was also having a little trouble adjusting to the thought of impending parenthood at his age. He turns 49 this summer. In his shoes, I don't think I'd be looking forward to changing diapers and walking the floors at midnight again. I'm too cranky and need my sleep too much. I love borrowing other people's babies for a short time, but I also enjoy handing them over when they get upset or smelly. At 40, I think I would have been thrilled to have another baby. Almost 10 years later, not so much.

It turns out this pregnancy wasn't planned, either--at least not by The Ex. He said, with a forced-sounding joking tone, "It wasn't my idea!" and grumbled about it being the price he pays for marrying a much younger woman. Well, yeah, buddy. He expected a 30-year-old woman to not want children? Please. I'm sure her parents are overjoyed. They have no grandchildren, and her older brother isn't likely to give them any because it might cut into his working-out schedule.

Of course, Daniel handled the news well and told his dad congratulations. I think he's secretly tickled at the idea of being a big brother, and I know he'll be a good one. I'm happy for The Ex's wife because I've suspected for a while that she's been longing for a baby. Strangely, though, I'm a little sad. I'm not jealous, but I guess I was accustomed to thinking of Daniel as The Ex's only child. Now his dad's attention will be split--and of course it should be. I don't mean The Ex should always show a preference for Daniel; that's silly. Babies do demand almost undivided attention, however, and I think my inner mother lioness is being overprotective of Daniel. He seems to be handling the situation with maturity, however. Now I just need to follow his example.