Chapter 10: Walls of Protection

The weekend was over way too fast. After Sunday morning church together, I fixed him lunch in my little tiny kitchen…. which he still says was the best grilled cheese sandwiches he’s ever had 🙂
Soon goodbyes were said and he was headed back to Tulsa. My boys came home a couple of hours later from their weekend visit, and I decided to tell them about my fun-filled weekend (the version that 2 little guys could grasp anyway). That short 5 minute talk mainly consisted of: “Mom has a new friend that’s Aunt Pam’s neighbor, he came to see me, we went to church and had a lot of fun.” I’m not sure Caleb even heard, since he was busy enjoying being home and digging out toys he had missed over the weekend; but I’ll never forget Charley’s sweet smile as he caught every word I said. Then he just came over and gave me a big hug. That said it all. Eventually, Caleb would actually catch on that Mom had a fun weekend. I didn’t make a huge deal about it, still unsure what it all meant. I knew I was feeling some crazy things in my heart, but I wasn’t sure where exactly Mike was with his thoughts. I knew he was very attracted to me, but I also was very aware he hadn’t actually met the boys yet,and they were a HUGE part of my life. We were a sort of “package deal,” and I did live a whole state away….I could see where he might think it as too complicated. I brushed it out of my mind , and decided to focus on the fact that I had just experienced a pretty perfect weekend. I was feeling very blessed.
If I remember correctly, he called later that evening to tell me he was back in Tulsa and to tell me again thanks for a fun weekend. He said,”I listened to Lionel Richie on the way home, and I thought about you a lot!” I told him that I had told my boys about my “friend” and one of them (can’t remember who) asked to say hi to him over the phone. He talked to both boys very briefly. When I got back on the phone, he told me he would really like to meet them; and I realized for the first how much I really wanted them to meet him and he-them.
It was probably the next conversation, maybe the next evening, that he threw out a possible option. He had thought up a plan, wanted to run it by me and see what I thought. His plan was for the boys and me to go to Ft Smith, Arkansas, and meet him there (about a half way in between place). He would get two rooms. The boys and I would have our own room/suite, and he would have his. We could spend the weekend there in Ft. Smith, sort of a “get to know Charley and Caleb weekend.” I was immediately excited and said yes, as long as I could make it work. He said he would pay for my gas and all expenses (always such a gentlemen), and when I mentioned it to the boys they were beyond thrilled. Just going on a little trip to Ft Smith was a very big deal. I’m not sure they thought much past that part 🙂
The next day (Wednesday) I had a dozen beautiful red roses waiting for me when I got home from classes; my head was spinning in a whirlwind of excitement.
This was a huge step for me to be ready for the boys to be in on the equation. It was a bit risky because Mike and I had still not mentioned the word love to each other; in fact we didn’t even end our letters “with love.” I think I was afraid if that word. I certainly didn’t want to throw it out there, carelessly. No, the next time I said that word I would be sure.
My boys were very adorable, but of course I wondered what he would think of them, what they would think of him. There were so many questions running through my head as Friday drew closer and closer, and the trip became more of a reality. My emotions were on the cautious side. I felt that protective wall around my heart getting reinforced. I could sense that this was a much bigger step, and believe me it was bigger than I could have imagined…this weekend would not be like the others. No, this one was a game changer, a life changer in fact.
I could not have imagined, but soon it would be Friday night and I would live it.

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