Two months ago, after professing his devotion for the thousandth time, Jackson got bold and said, "So- you wanna make out?" I was a little drunk, laughed nervously and said something like, "What the hell- sure." For months I'd been chiding myself about not ever having the nerve to sleep with him. (Maddie! C'mon!! Just Throw Down! If it's good, great! If not, at least you'll know! But what if it's great and he wants to be my boyfriend and then I'll have all that to deal with, plus the obvious Brady Bunch references since between us we have five boys, ages 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2.)
For the next twenty minutes I tried- really tried to get into it. And while all we did was kiss, and I think he's a good kisser, I could not get my head around what was going on. It freaked me out, and I think I even started laughing a few times. I felt awful. Mercifully, I got a phone call from my mom, who was watching my kids overnight. The baby was throwing up; could I come and help with that? The perfect out. We each got our coats on and left my apartment, getting into our separate cars and driving away.
The months after our encounter have been a bit strange. For the first time I felt like I couldn't tell him about my sex life, even though he said it didn't bother him. He knows about my recent meetings with Thomas; about Jason, the 22-year old boy from last summer who went back to college a better lover than when he'd left; about my crush on the barrista in the coffee shop. I know that he would like to be my boyfriend. I know that I don't want to be his girlfriend. He swears that, yes, he loves me, and so wants me to be happy. And this makes me happy.
And even though he has plied me with bacon, eggs, coffee and fruit compote, I am not telling him about my first date with a new friend, online, last night.