Things weren’t perfect.
Both of us had been hurt, badly, and I in particular struggled to trust again. We also both had a history of rushing into relationships too quickly.
I told him once that I’d thought “Wrestlingdad32″ was an offputting username, which had been part of my hesitancy to respond to him. (What if he’d liked pro wrestling…?) But I joked that if I’d known the truth, I might’ve run for the hills. Chandler was a terrific wrestler (Jason coached), and wrestling meets weren’t like soccer matches or football games, where you could generally go home after a couple of hours. They were all-day affairs, frequently requiring us to show up before 8 a.m. and stay till dinnertime. (We didn’t bring the kids — I stayed home on weekends when I had them, at first because Jason hadn’t met them, and later because I wasn’t sure how Matthew would handle the volume. And also because I’m not a masochist.) I didn’t mind going — I actually began to really appreciate the sport — but staying there for eight or nine hours only to see Chandler wrestle three or four times could be grueling. I took up knitting to pass the time (and got some very cute scarves out of it).
It wasn’t just wrestling, either — as soon as that wrapped up, it was lacrosse season (which I enjoyed greatly), and football has just started up. Football appreciation is probably going to come a lot more slowly.
I could have skipped the meets and the games, of course. But it soon became as unthinkable to stay home — see caveat above about the kids — as it would have been to miss Matthew’s kindergarten graduation. And though I’d used to wonder if I could love another child as much as my own, I realized one day that I already did.
And my heart felt like it could grow right out of my chest when I saw him with my kids. Arguments over talk-radio hosts go out the window when you’re watching the man you love swing your toddler in the air, or explain mechanics to your 7-year-old budding engineer.
My biggest fear was “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Things like this just don’t HAPPEN, right? You don’t get your heart hung, drawn and quartered and a few short months later find mind-blowing, toe-curling true love that not only encompasses you but your children, do you? You wouldn’t even find that concept realistic enough to base a romantic comedy on. What’s the catch?
But as the months wore on, there was no denying … there was no catch.