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Tonight's the night

Today has been a mess, punctuated by more mess, and topped with a big messy cherry. Time wasted carting a daughter around to meet friends who didn't show until hours later, hours spent waiting on a take care clinic and getting the right meds for a daughter who possibly has mono (yay), kids who refuse to clean for more than 5 minutes on a single task, crying, a cancelled trip to Chicago for Kat and her mom. Utter chaos.

Tonight looked to be going in the same direction. Kat and I went to get something to eat and spend some time with our Rascal. The restaurant was FREEZING. I had to run out to the car to get an extra shirt for myself and Kat and a coat for Kelly. Then the waitress informed Kat that they were out of guac for her hamburger and she'd have to order something else. THEN we had to wait for drinks. THEN when the order finally came my burger was wrong and even once they got it right it wasn't very good. Plus they way over salted Kelly's fries, forgot to give us silverware or napkins. Just a horribly sloppy experience all around.

The only saving grace for the whole night was the conversation. Lots and lots of conversation about camp and planning for camp and what's going on and who's who and on and on. Which is good. Even their double teaming teasing came as welcome change. It's better than where we were a month or so ago. Seeing Kat and Kelly back into their normal pattern of conversation gives my heart some much needed relief.

We walked for 30-40 minutes and then stood around for more conversation outside of my car. That's where things were slightly more awkward and certainly more focused. That's where I decided to start being a bigger part of the conversation and confront some challenges I was having. I have to say I was surprised at how relaxed the tone of the conversation stayed.

I'm so proud of Kat for digging a little deeper, well beyond her normal gut reactions. She's worked so hard lately on stifling those stray thoughts, that aren't productive, and only cause harm. Things these last few weeks have really shifted into a place of positive and vulnerable conversation. She's admitted fault more times in the last 3 weeks than she has in the last 20 years. She's said things like "You are right" and "I'm sorry", told me that I'm a "great man" (a sneaky one, but still great). These are all statements that were VERY rare over the course of our relationship, but they seem to come with greater ease every day.

At the same time I couldn't be more proud of Kelly. I don't know how many times I've heard the message "don't cause problems". Yet, tonight, she surprised me by breaking past that internal barrier and making a bold statement to Kat. One that Kat would have well pounced on in a jealous rage just a month ago. Kelly confronted her own jealousy and at the same time solidified her position as more than just a part time friend. I saw how much of a struggle it was, the little facial expressions and flushed face that said "this is awkward, but..." I know how hard it must have been to say something direct to Kat, who is a friend, a mentor, a sometimes stand-in mother figure, and deeply regarded. It was certainly unexpected, but welcome.

I think tonight I saw a woman come into her own, as an equal. I saw another woman come into a new way of thinking, so very different from the person she's been. I'm so very happy at how this night turned out to be the night I've been waiting for for so long. Peace, at last. I hope it lasts. I hope it gets even better. I'm very hopeful and at least this time it's hope because of evidence and not in spite of the evidence. <83