Wednesday, August 10, 2005

More than a walk in the park

This last weekend, Hot Toddy, Thor, Auburn Aries and I went on a picnic which included a hike. In as much as I’m not necessarily the hiking-type to the point of owning a lot of hiking gear (okay, I only own boots), I am a Pagan and being that close to nature is very grounding for me. Especially now with all the impending change in my life.

It allowed me the luxury of leaving all the housework and stress of day-to-day life behind me for an afternoon. I didn’t realize how much I needed it, but I can promise you that I will be doing it again very soon and with more frequency.

As the four of us headed out on our adventure, we ended up breaking into twos. Auburn Aries had Thor’s hand firmly gripped and I walked along behind them with my best friend, talking.

I realized on the walk the degree to which Todd and Thor mean Auburn Aries. They are her two gay Dads. She is more comfortable with them than I’ve seen her with anyone (Fairy Godmother excluded). They treat her better than her own Dad does. She never worries about whether her silly humor will come out wrong because she knows they’ll laugh it off anyway.

She never worries about her weight or the occasional bouts with attitude that we have to address. And both of the boys have their own ways of dealing with her. No matter who’s been around in our lives, I have always worried about that person having to deal with her – or rather, I’ve worried about them finding the patience to just work through whatever situation arises with her. With Toddy and Thor, I don’t have that concern.

I was reminded again how much her heart is going to break when Thor is gone.
Toddy and I had an opportunity to, once again, talk about where we were at emotionally with everything. It was a relaxing conversation, right up until he turned to some passers-by and asked, “Could you tell me where Starbucks is? Is it right up the path here…or…?”

The people we passed started laughing and merely shook their heads.

The remainder of our walk was much the same way. A little serious, a little heartfelt, a little…Toddy.

“If there’s not a cotton candy stand somewhere along this hike, I’m gonna throw a fit!”

“Why is Auburn Aries crowding in on my boyfriend? I’m gonna have to take her down.”

“This hike is never going to end. I’m smoking.”

And then there was my observation of the dragonfly laying her eggs in the river. I had never seen this before and when Thor told me what she was doing I was surprised. “So, what? She craps her eggs into the river out of like, what, her egg hole?”

It was then that Toddy pointed out how much more colorful the Discovery Channel would have been had I been narrating it! He had me laughing so hard I had to cross my legs to keep from peeing myself.

The four of us walked and talked and laughed. Toddy and Thor stopped to share a few tender moments under a beautiful tree, sans Aries and me. Auburn Aries played in the icy river. What is it with kids not caring about the water being ice cold?

The four of us sat down by the river while Aries and Thor connected with nature. Aries is fearless when she’s around Thor. He helps build her confidence in a way that I’ve not been able to. Toddy and I did our part too…we cried…a lot… about whatever we wanted. We are much the same way when it comes to things of the heart.

I also witnessed the most tender kiss I think I’ve ever seen. I wanted to take a few pictures with my cell and asked to see one. What I saw actually moved me to tears and put a lump in my throat. If there was ever any question about the love these two share, there shouldn’t be.

Todd and Thor have had to endure quite a bit in the short time they’ve been together. There have been times I’ve wanted to smack both of them just from the complexity of it all. But when they kissed, it moved me to the point of almost forgetting to take the picture. I don’t know the last time I was kissed like that.

For better or worse, the four of us are a family and spending the day together as a family meant more to me than Todd and Thor will ever understand. They’ve touched my daughter’s life so deeply that there will never be words adequate enough to thank them for loving her the way they do.

It hit Aries on the way home that evening that Thor was really leaving and she has very little time left with him. She began to cry in the car. She just kept saying she didn’t want him to leave. It was like she was waiting for me to tell her it was all a joke. But I couldn’t. He is leaving and regardless how temporary, it’s affecting us all. There is nothing I can do to change it.

I wish there was something I could do to hold her tender little heart after he leaves. Something that will make it all better. But there’s not.

I won’t ever forget the day I met him and realized he was going to be the perfect housemate. I won’t forget the love and laughter he brought into my house and made it a home. Nor will I forget the day he pulls out of the driveway as I feel the impact he’s had on our lives and how big the void will be when he’s gone.

So, thank you, Thor. For loving me and Auburn Aries unconditionally and for touching our lives the way you have. We love you.

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