Kristin and I sit under the apple tree in her garden. We share a carton Chablis and each have our pack of Marlboro.
The children play hide and seek inside the house.
We are waiting for our permanent seats, she left and I to the right, so it has always been. Yes, since we met through our men working together, ten years ago.
We both have experienced countless problems because of it, when we held together through long intense periods alone with the children, seeking comfort in each other.
We love to talk. We never run out of topics.
You are my life witness, I say to her, smile and lift the glass. She strokes my arm and says that I’m her soul mate.
In the community, we are known as the two married, but still single mothers who are always together. We have received much “oh how do you cope with everything alone? With five children? I had never been able to! ” comments from other families.
In the old days it felt like a reputation, but nowadays these comments last as short as a breath of warm air from an electric door that opens and shuts.
For a while we placed our regular chairs so we could peek into the neighbors every Friday.
Dad came home, gave the mother a warm hug in the kitchen, while son and daughter watched television in the living room, two glasses filled with red wine.
The worst thing was that they did it really well. The picture perfect family.
Perhaps it was out of these observations, that our incipient dissatisfaction put seed. It is difficult to say.
It could also be the fact that one day by some quick mental arithmetic, we figured, that we, in the last ten years had been alone with the children more than 250 weekends.
Not to mention the intervening weeks. Or that my husband and I had never celebrated our wedding anniversary, my 40th birthday, many birthdays, our son’s first day of school.
It is difficult to say …
Ideas can spring from such conditions. That was how it happened to us.
Text: Anne Sandberg