I’m sitting here on a Sunday morning after being up for nearly three hours. I have to get up this early on the weekends because Holly works. She has always worked weekends, well, ever since Avery was born. She works weekends to keep Avery out of daycare two days during the week. Bonus for us in terms of cost savings, and also gives Holly time with Avery. This is the way it has always been. Well, always since Avery was born and Holly’s maternity leave ended. He is asleep in my lap as I write this. Aurora is asleep in her swing. I am listening to Lou Rhodes, who was once in the band, Lamb (I highly recommend the band, even though they no longer perform). My coffee is cold. I don’t mind much. Cold coffee is as effective as warm coffee, especially since I rarely drink caffeinated coffee. Not because I don’t like it. I do. But because for a while I was drinking two and sometimes three pots of caffeinated coffee. I was always tired. I was running on empty. I was convinced I could keep everything in check and under control. I was wrong. I am getting ready for my annual trek to Book Expo America. This is my ninth year going to the conference, and also the first year where I will be going alone. My brother has come the last few years. He couldn’t get the time off this year. Last year, D came with me. There is a picture of the line from the first day, and if you know where to look, you can see me and D and Lucas. We were there. If you know where to look. I am putting together the list of people I plan to meet and I am crying and I am tired of crying but I no longer know how to stop crying. It has been nearly nine months. Nine months. Long enough to grow a baby. And still I cry. I remain waterlogged. I do not like this feeling, that my body will betray me at moments I can neither predict nor control. Holly’s parents are visiting. It is her mother’s birthday (bonus for it also being Mother’s Day). Last year, Holly’s parents took her and Avery to the Cape. I was invited. I said no. A weekend away from everyone? Perfect for me and D. He had asked me to move in with him. I wanted to. I wanted to desperately. But a few days before the Cape trip, a cat Holly and I had had since college jumped out an open window and died. And for a few minutes, I remembered what had brought me and Holly together and I remembered the promise I saw in her and in our relationship and I couldn’t just chuck it away on a weekend when she was away. I am not a coward. Or maybe I always knew the way that specific story would end, and I was in no hurry to rush it. Avery is asleep on my lap and Aurora is asleep in her swing and I am not asleep and Lou Rhodes continues to sing and I am typing this around Avery’s body. When he was a baby, he radiated so much heat that I would hold him and lay down with him and I would quickly fall asleep. He still radiates this heat. He scratched my face this morning. He didn’t mean to. Or maybe he did. I bled a little. He knows that blood = pain. He asked me later if I needed a band-aid. I think he just wanted to show me that he was sorry. Holly’s parents told me last night that they are afraid that I will pick another drug addict as a partner. I told them that I have learned my lesson. But still they worry. And maybe I worry a little. I keep turning down offers from nice men, educated men, men who might be good stepparents, and I keep turning down these offers because I do not want these offers and I do not want to see where these paths lead because I am happy on my current path, where my children are my primary relationship and my wife, who will soon be my ex-wife, is my secondary relationship. A Fiona Apple lyric keeps coming into my life. “I thought it was a bird but it was just a paper bag.” A man with whom I went to dinner had this lyric tattooed on his wrist. He got it after a particularly messy breakup. Someone else tweeted the lyric. No explanation. But really, is one needed? We all see things for what we want them to be, and sometimes they are what we want and other times they are not and all we can do is keep looking and hoping that what we look for will manifest. Or be manifested. Or something. Avery is asleep in my lap and Aurora is asleep in her swing and soon I will have to wake them up and take them to the gym where I will lose myself for an hour on a treadmill and then, if the weather holds, I will take them to the Charles River. Aurora will hang from my chest in a Bjorn and Avery will ride in his stroller and I will take my children on a walk around the river, where on any given day, depending on how wild Avery’s imagination is, sea creatures lurk and princes and princesses have picnics in the shade of weeping willows and where, last year, he and his two fathers began building a life that was never going to happen. Lou Rhodes keeps singing. She is sad, and so her songs are sad.