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Jun 23 2011

From the Dad: Ronia Finally Comes to NYC

By at 9:02 am

We published a post yesterday by Tamar Fox about test driving parenthood by spending the weekend with her boyfriend’s 3-year-old daughter. Here’s the boyfriend’s take on the same experience.

I travel to New York every week for love. Basically, I come back to Philadelphia to parent Ronia in the city where her school is located and where her mother lives. My life is geographically determined, I am basically a different person in New York than I am in Philly though my two lives aren’t really that different. They are defined by relationships with powerful ladies who are younger than me.

Still, until now, they have not come together very often. My lady doesn’t get to Philly all that often, and Ronia has only made it to NYC once, when my parents took us both up.

But I have one sister living there and she’s been agitating for some auntie time. The pitch was that Ronia could stay with her, and we would not have to put Ronia on the Lady’s couch and draft her housemates into being involuntary aunties, when the real one was quite voluntary.

I try to be as hands off as possible in pushing Tamar to take on Ronia responsibilities. I feel like choosing to date someone who has a child is very different from choosing to have one yourself. Also, Tamar’s friends are weirdly pressuring in this regard, with several of them asking her if she’s spent time with Ronia.

So it was with some trepidation that I suggested the weekend, but Tamar, bless her child-loving heart, agreed. And though I am usually hesitant to set the agenda, Tamar and Auntie were both amenable.

Because my bus was horrendously late, I dropped Ronia somewhat abruptly with her aunt and posse of ladies, all ready to fuss over the niece, and headed uptown. Though I pride myself on my Shabbat co-hosting, I arrived at that magic moment when everything is done. A very grownup Shabbat dinner followed, while Ronia partied downtown.

In the morning, I headed to shul. I had asked Maya to bring Ronia to synagogue, which is big because Maya does not usually attend. To her credit, she agreed. I watched the door anxiously, sneaking off to the bathroom to field texts of their progress. The progress was minimal, Ronia had reverted to her rockstar ways, sleeping past 11 am. I asked Maya to bring her anyway. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 24 2011

My Very Own Ladette

By at 9:55 am

I was on with Ronia for New Year’s Eve, which fell on Shabbat this year. We had a lovely dinner with friends and Ronia’s mother, but after Ronia was in bed I felt my loneliness of separation in a way I usually don’t. I decided to call people (I use the phone for friends and family on Shabbat) who I haven’t spoken to in a while.

The only person I could get a hold of  was an old housemate of mine on West Coast time, who had not yet gone out. The big news: She is getting married! And planning to have kids! She thanked me for not laughing.

I didn’t laugh, but I did get wistful. This is my friend I affectionately call “the Ladette,” who did quite a bit of dating in her time. One of her first acts of casting off her adolescent shyness was to give me her number when we met on a bus. About to leave on a trip for Israel, I never called her, and forgot all about it when we became housemates.

We later became great platonic friends, scandalizing the Thai restaurants of Seattle with our loud gossip. My own gossip was mostly theoretical at that point, as I was engaged, but I enjoyed her more eventful life.

And then I got married, and moved out of the house. She started dating the guy who took my room, causing some scandal. They lasted (though never got married themselves or planned to have children) until this year, when my marriage ended, so did their relationship. My friend stunned, her partner, so mild-mannered, was in love with someone else.

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