He was not a toddler in the beginning but in the end he fell apart and turned into a boy when I needed him to be the adult.
I met him at a wedding. I had gone alone because I was a newer friend of the bride and didn’t have anyone to bring. We worked together, so I assumed that other co-workers may be making an appearance.
In walks the The Toddler for the dancing part of the party and we have a blast! Lots of dancing, making fun of small children crawling under tables and a lot of stealing EVERY rye chip in the building. We ended the evening with him driving me home after we let ourselves into a vacant ballroom to make-out and talk. We made plans for the following day and then again for the months to follow.
He was sweet.
He got along with my family.
He was funny.
He was into fitness.
He was healthy.
He respected my work and adored me exactly the way I am.
He took care of me.
He had to speak up or “man” up.
He struggled with communication and when I would ask or push him to talk to me he would physically shake. It drove me crazy because we were two adults. I just needed him to be honest with me instead of pretending everything would be okay.
I wasn’t sure how the relationship would evolve but his professional situation was more flexible than mine. I had a career I was working to evolve and he… did not.
I was headed to a birthday dinner party with all of my friends, he was attending with me. I was an emotional mess because of changing things at work and starting new projects. I had been working endless hours to get things shut down at my job. My job was sending me things to consider and work on at all hours of the day. I was working to find a new home.
We go to the party and have a nice but hard time saying good bye.
At the end of the night I am an emotional roller-coaster. We walk out of the restaurant and my car is not operational. I break down in crocodile tears in the middle of the parking lot.
I needed someone to pick me up. I needed someone to figure out what we were going to do. I needed someone to find a tow truck, an insurance company… anything. I needed a partner.
What i got…
He just hugged me. Not a word. Not a sound. Not a “I got this”.
I got a hug.
In that moment I felt like my boyfriend had become a toddler hugging my leg in the middle of a parking lot while his mommy had a mental break down.
I stopped crying. I became the adult. I googled what to do. I did it.
I was disgusted.
I was disappointed.
Less than 10 hours later, he declares his love to me.
I do not respond in the joyous excited way he expected.
I spent the next weeks packing up my apartment. Every little item into boxes. Selling a lot of my things online. Many hours in the office.
A week or two later it is my birthday celebration with the friends. The Toddler attended with me. I had not had much fun for weeks. This particular celebration was filled with so much joy and excitement. I was surrounded by people that loved me no matter what and supported my crazy ventures. I laughed, I cried, I sang, I danced. All of these things with a giant grin on my face that reflected joy from the inside out.
Until the next morning…
For the first time he decides to speak up. “I just don’t understand why you were so happy last night? You are never happy when its you and me here in your apartment and then we go to see your friends and you are all smiles.”
When I was home, I was literally BOXED in. My whole life was changing. He was not offering much help and a lot of pouting in the process. I did not box up the toddler and bring him along. I wish him well but I am free of the toddler hugging my leg now.
And so it is.