I moved in with Bear last weekend.
The kids are still trying to figure out what to make of it. They were with their mother all week until tonight. They were originally supposed to come home Wednesday night, but things changed and they came home tonight, which worked out well because it gave Bear and me two more days to work on unpacking what we could to make the apartment more liveable at least in the rest of the apartment outside of our bedroom. The kids aren't thrilled with there still being a ton of boxes in there, but we had to focus our efforts, there just wasn't time to do it all before they got home, even with two extra days.
Before I gave notice at my old apartment, Bear talked to the kids to see what they thought about the idea of be moving in. They were both for it, though one definitely more tentative in her agreement. We didn't talk about it a whole lot with them during the intervening month, and it became clear last Friday that it hadn't fully sunk in. They were asking for me to be over each night, and they were concerned that a potential part-time job for me would take time away from me being with them, but they didn't understand that furniture and things would move, and all of a sudden they were waffling. When it's a little late because I have less than a week to be out of my apartment. And then the day I gave my keys back, the day my divorce hearing was finally held (I did not go back home for it, since it was uncontested and I didn't need to spend the money or time on the trip), the day they were originally supposed to get home, their mother was saying they did not want me to move in.
We had already been stretching ourselves damn thin, staying up till 3 and 4 in the morning unpacking to make it nice and organized for when the kids got home, but after that I was starting to panic. Well, ok, not starting. I had already been panicking about getting things unpacked and organized enough that the apartment would be appealing again. But then I was also panicking about what if this didn't work out with them. It's done already. I've given the keys back, I can't back out now. But what if the kids resented me being there. What if the kids hated everything I brought in. What if they wanted me to leave. What if they don't want me to marry their dad when the time comes. What if, what if, what if. We had made the decision to move me in based on their needs, but the things we were looking at aren't necessarily the same factors that the kids care about at their age.
Tonight, they weren't happy initially as they were coming home, but as Bear talked about some of the things I had brought in, the one who was more into the idea of me moving warmed up some. When they hit the door, though, they swapped, and the one who was more tentative became excited about the new things she saw while the other one became sullen. He was up and down through the evening, but after we put them to bed, he came out and wanted to talk to his dad alone, so I went to the bedroom to read.
When they came in to tell me they were done, he seemed to be in a better mood. Bear told me after putting him back to bed that, among other things, he understands that I care about them (although I love them dearly, neither of us is going to use the L-word to describe it until they do) and that Bear trusts me with them. One of the things he is most concerned about is the boxes in the bedroom and it seeming crowded and cluttered, which he is way too used to from his other home. So hopefully as he sees that disappear quickly, that'll help.
I hope so. I do love them, and I want them to be happy with me here.
But for now, I'm stress eating and taking sips from Bear's wine glass.