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Meeting the Family

1 July, 2017

Things are still ticking along nicely with Fiona. I’m not the sort to lay out my entire life on social media, so there won’t be daily updates clogging your news feed; and plus as I’ve said before the only times I write with any depth about real life are when I need to work things out, and our relationship seems to be on an even keel at the moment, meaning that my emotions are as well.

Last week we discussed my meeting her 7-year-old daughter. I know we haven’t been seeing other that long – only a few weeks (although it seems infinitely longer) – but it’s important that we take that step. If we are going to be part of each other’s lives then that means me being part of her daughter’s – let’s call her Fiona Jr – life too. And on a purely practical note, with the shift pattern that Fiona works and the lack of available time for us to meet in person, it would be simpler if we didn’t have to factor in times when she is child-free or has a sitter. So against the backdrop of this conversation, we packed sandwiches, crisps, cakes and drink into a coolbag, rolled up a blanket and headed for the common for a picnic.

FJ was, not surprisingly, a bit unsure and shy at first. And me being me, I had played out all the alternative scenarios for the day in my head beforehand, many of which involved it being a complete disaster. But as the afternoon wore on, she came out of her shell, and before long we were batting a shuttlecock back and forth, feeding bread to the ducks together, sharing an ice cream; all that picnic on the common type stuff. She was an absolute delight, and it would seem she has approves of me too – when I was packing up the bag, I heard a whispered “is TRG coming back to our house for tea?” and when Fiona asked her if she wanted me too her “yeeeeeessss!” wasn’t whispered.

We had talked about the new Despicable Me film coming out soon –  FJ is a big fan too – so after tea we all sat on the sofa and watched the first DM, and I was made to promise we would all go to see DM3 this week. After I’d been selected to read her bedtime story and she was asleep, we reflected how well the day had gone and I even admitted how nervous I had been which sort of morphed into me telling her how I usually spend these early stages of a relationship assuming it will all fall apart before long. I hadn’t really intended to open up that much but it felt natural to be sharing, and the conversation found its own way there. She said she often had simiar worries – she has her own stories of bad relationships too – but we were both able to reassure each other that we were happy with how things are going. That meant alot, as did the fact we were sympathetic to each other’s insecurities.

So now I’ve met FJ, it seemed right that Fiona meet Hafi, my hamster who I refer to as my daughter, so on Thursday I set up that meeting. I am happy to report that they get on as well as FJ and I did – after a little sniff of her hands, Hafi decided yes she would like a cuddle from Fiona thank you, and even ate a blueberry sitting on her hands. My girl is always happy to take food but doesn’t often eat on my hand so this was quite a compliment.

Having negotiated these first steps of Meeting The Family, we will slowly start extending to other family members too and see how that goes. But we have met the most important relations with a large degree of success so we are optimistic this will continue.

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