thanksgiving with the ex

For Thanksgiving, Django and I are going on a little trip to see his dad’s side of the family. Despite my trying to wriggle out of it, (“This might just make everyone uncomfortable. Maybe it’s time we grow out of this. We’re really fine on our own.”), it’s still going to happen.

I’m more or less off the meds, and I’m sleeping with a ridiculously talented DJ. Django is one month away from becoming a teen-ager, and reveling in all the new aspects of his personality. He and I have taken to singing obnoxious, spontaneous songs to each other as our primary means of communication, while still maintaining our routine of staying up late snuggling and reading to each other, and life is striking me as easy, carefree, and fun.

So it will be interesting to see if I go off the rails today or not.

Here are some of the compliments my ex’s family is prone to deliver.

“You don’t seem nearly as unstable these days as you used to.”

“That added weight has really rounded out your breasts.”

“Even though you don’t know anything about wine, you’re still welcome to have a little bit.”

I’d love to be able to watch in slow motion the confusion that must cross my face as I’m saying, “Thank you?” in response. Watch how it starts at my brows, and moves its way across my eyes, down to my uncertain mouth.

But they invite me because they love me, I suppose, in their own queer way.

Also because my son won’t go near them without me by his side.

“You baby him too much,” they say. Have always said. Even when Django was an actual baby.

But I’m pretty sure, as the woman who has single-handedly raised a full-hearted radiant son, that I’ve babied him just the right amount.

The only time he went to visit his dad’s family alone, he called me crying at two in the morning saying that now he knew how Harry Potter felt living with the Dursleys. Great window-to-life reference on his part, but not an experience I ever wanted my son to have.

“He should respect his elders,” they told me, tell me.

And you know, that’s a belief I used to have, too. Now I have a new belief, based on wisdom gleaned from Django himself.

“How can I respect someone who is a total asshole to me?”

Bravo, Django.

Nonetheless, the trip will be good. Because we’ll be together, and because we’re brave. We’ll find the places where the love is warm and cozy in. Make them ourselves, if we have to. And in so doing, hopefully manage to stay one step ahead of the whole crazy pack.


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