Yesterday, I told you that my husband Juan took our son Diego to a sleepover at a local museum. The girls, my step-daughters, were with their mother for the night. This is one of the challenges of having a blended family–keeping a master calendar on who’s where and which parent are they with. We have been at it for nearly 8 years now so we have our routine worked out, but it can become quite hectic when the other parents travel and we get off schedule, which happened this weekend. And which is why I happened to find myself alone with my 12 year-old son Nico on a Friday night.
One of the things I struggled with in my decision to remarry, was how it was going to affect my son. Nico was barely 2 years old when his dad and I divorced. For the next three years it was just Nico and I. And while the divorce was painful, and I struggled to make it as a single working mom and, Nico was the brightest spot in my life. We did everything together. I got to a point where I felt really comfortable in my role as a single mom. Nico was my best date.
And then I met Juan. We dated, fell in love and decided to get married. Nico got two sisters in the deal and later his brother. With each change to our family we talked about it. He is such a low-key kid, I have always been concerned that as our family grew and life became more hectic, Nico would fall off the radar. When Nico was 6 years-old Diego was born. He was concerned that Diego would not be his brother. Erica had explained to him that because he and Diego did not have the same father, they would only be half-brothers. I assured him that yes, would be brothers. Today, they are not only brothers, but wonderful friends. Nico and his sisters also have a special bond, especially with Erica, since they are in the same grade, at the same school. So in this Brady Bunch type household, it’s rare that I can carve out an opportunity to recreate one-on-one time for Nico and I.
Nico noticed it too. A few days before he learned that we would be alone on Friday night. He told me, “Wow Mommy! (I love that he still calls me that.) We haven’t been alone since Juan took the girls to the Father/Daughter Dance, before Diego was born. What are we going to do?” This night called for something special. We talked about what we wanted to do and of course, ice cream was at the top of his list. And a movie. We had a wonderful time. He is a pre-teen, so I don’t know how much longer he’ll want to go out with his mom for a movie and ice cream. But for now, I’m happy to be his best date.