Obviously it is fantastic to have the world's most fantastic dog for the summer, and really have no responsibility for her. Obviously living with Muse is really nothing like having a random roommate. If I thought this would be less than okay, we wouldn't be doing it, but I've been surprised at just how pleasant it is to come home to someone I like hanging out with. (Bonus perk: I've completely shamed myself into giving up the bear-with-furniture habits I've picked up over the years. The dishes are done, the laundry is clean, there's some semblance of meals and the trash is taken out. There's fur all over the floor, but we sweep twice a day, I swear.) I'm sure this is all not quite as pleasant for Muse, who dislikes the city (but concedes that "College Green sucks less than the rest of it") and is living out of a suitcase in the weeks before moving to the Great North to rejoin the BoM. (We'll talk about that some other day), but it's basically pleasant and companionable.
So. I can be around other people, on a regular basis. And an interesting fact of life in College Green is that I am surrounded by people not unlike me; my friends have partnerships that support and sustain them, while maintaining full lives in which they are, separately, themselves. I've had few models of this.
The Neighbor Kids, for all their worry about my life choices (read: lunchbox contents), seem to have decided that I am in fact a responsible grownup ("Well, at dinnertime you're a kid, because you don't have to sit with your husband. But other times you're a really good grownup") and mostly one whose reminders to get in line are worth heeding. Somehow I have learned to speak as College Green Grownups do, enforcing responsibility for one's actions and tolerance and kindness (would that the College Green Grownups remembered to treat one another that way), all while having the freedom and the body type to engage in wild physical play.
"MathNerd is really good with kids," I overhear at a dinner party. I am surprised by this trust, even though there is one toddler on my back and another clinging to my right leg, both giggling. I am not supposed to be this person.
Or so I was told.
I made the right choices, then, or let the right choices happen to me might be more accurate. But I also allowed myself to be told...nay, to believe...that I couldn't be fully present with another person, that for the good of everyone around me, and everyone I might bring around me, I should stay separate.
I don't know that this changes anything. I don't know that I want it to. And maybe I'm wrong now and they were right all along and, in fact, I can't; certainly I know that, if I don't, it's all still quite good.
But I think maybe I could. And I'm not sure what I'll do with that thought.