Meeting Kealoha's Parents

With National Novel Writing Month starting tonight at 12AM, I thought I’d better post one last blog before the chaos begins. I really wish NaNoWriMo were not in November. It’s such a crazy month with holiday prep and Thanksgiving and Christmas peeking around the corner. Add to that I’ll be recording two novels around my teaching schedule. That means running to the studio in between teaching sessions and on Fridays and taking care of the kids and planning classes…AND I’m going to try to write a novel in a month? What kind of crazy am I?

Don’t let my complaining fool you. I love it. Last year, NaNo was how I completed “Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage”…and that comes out in February by Champagne Books.

Anyway. Uh…awkward transition.

I was going to blog about meeting Kealoha’s parents, and I gave you the highlights in the last blog, but here’s more of the story:

On the ride over to his parents’ I was feeling fine. Louis and Simone were chatting in the back seat, Kealoha and I were chatting up front…but then as soon as I got there I felt a wave of nervous energy come over me. I was meeting Kealoha’s parents! That’s stressful enough…but this time, I was meeting parents and I had my kids along with me. I’ve dated a couple of men this last year, but my kids never met their parents. Suddenly the whole “Girlfriend Meets Boyfriend’s Parents” in my head morphed into “Single Mom With Two Kids Meets Boyfriend’s Parents and Hopes She Doesn’t Come Off As Needy Or Desperate And Hopes To God That Her Kids Don’t Break Anything.”

This was new territory for me. And while Kealoha knows that the kids and I are a package deal, that he’s dating me, yes, and I have two children and they’re a big part of my life…it suddenly dawned on me that by meeting his parents my kids would be viewed as potential grandkids. I’m not saying that K. and I are on that path yet, but come on, you can’t help thinking about that. I’m sure it was on his parents’ minds. His mom even asked him in the kitchen “So, are you ready to become an instant dad?” (He said his answer was “Sure!”)

It’s not that this stuff never occurred to me. It did. I just never had to look at it face-to-face while standing in a condo with thousands of breakable objects and Simone jumping up and down and crawling over the furniture and Louis pulling sword toothpicks from the appetizers and playing Clone Wars with them.

I was nervous. I laughed too much. I tried to ask questions. I was greatly relieved that his parents were laidback and funny, and I liked watching Kealoha interact with them. Clearly, there’s a loving relationship there.

Simone crawled in my lap. Pulled my shirt down and flashed everyone. Luckily, I like my boobs, so while I was mortified, I was also slightly proud. Louis hid in the corner for a while until K’s mom brought the appetizers out on little green swords. His dad walked around talking about the new “Damn Dog” they were going to pick up on the way to Florida. Their two parrots squawked from their room.

Then we had dinner. I was terrified that once the kids saw the Cornish hens that they’d freak out and say “Tiny birds! We’re not eating tiny birds!” They didn’t say that. Quite the opposite. They sat at the table and ate with us. I don’t know what we talked about but I couldn’t help but laugh when Louis buttered his bread with about half a cup of butter, and Simone kept crying “More chicken! More chicken!” while I tried to cut the meat from the hen. Those buggers are tiny and I was trying to be all dainty. Then I thought, fuck it, picked the hen up and just tore pieces from it.

When I noticed a little undercooked part, a little blood, I quickly covered it up, hoping K’s mom wouldn’t see it. Simone cried “Mom? MOM! Is that blood? That’s blood, isn’t it? THAT’S BLOOOOOD!” Followed by “Can I have more chicken?”

K’s mom was in the kitchen and I looked at my plate where I had three halves of Cornish hen carcasses on my plate. I barely had a few bites, but Simone’s belly was all bloated and happily full. I put a hen on her plate and Louis’s, so I’d look at least normal and like I hadn’t eaten three of the hens all by myself.

Then came dessert. Louis put M&M’s on his ice cream. Simone wanted the apple pie and ice cream. She ate like some kind of vacuum, inhaling entire pieces of food. I’d just taken a bite of my pie and I turned to look at her and her face was in her plate, smashed up against it and she was sucking. Literally. Like a vacuum cleaner!

I turned completely red. Everyone laughed. K’s mom said “So, has Simone always been a good eater?” And then I laughed too. What else can you do?

K’s dad gave the kids some seashells. Louis said in his low grown-up voice, “Huh. You guys are a lot nicer than I thought you’d be.”

We packed up. Went home. Kids passed out in the car immediately. Kealoha drove and held my hand.

I don’t know where my relationship with K is going, but I do know that I’m so grateful with how gentle he is with the kids and loving, and how he treats me. I feel safe around him. Comfortable. Supported and loved. And after meeting his parents, I can see now where he gets his sense of humor and his love of collecting things, and even his laid-back disposition.

It was a nice night. An awkward night, a horrible night, an embarrassing night…all of that. And strangely, it felt right. It felt like having dinner with a family.