I saw Krystle off on her "gap-year" adventure earlier in the week, driving her down to Boston's Logan Airport, and it was surprisingly emotional for me. You'd think, after a couple years of what I've been through - the sex change, pregnancy, having Little Moira, and for much of the time living under the same roof as Krystle pretending to be me - just driving someone somewhere wouldn't be such a big deal, but seeing what looks like your own body walking away is kind of a gut-punch.
I thought it was just the sight of it, but when I went to The Changeling so that Moira and Ashlyn could see their namesake, Ashlyn had a different take on it. She pointed out that, even though I've been living as Krystle for two years now, this is the first time I've really seen the person in my place doing something with my life that's about their own wishes rather than keeping things in place. Even the guy who got me pregnant wasn't talking about himself or whoever he sold my life to doing something other than living that life as it was. For Ashlyn, it was just a few months before her old business had changed, so she had to get used to the idea of it early, but it was an easy thing for most of the rest of us to take for granted, especially if we figured on getting back to normal.
It was a short conversation, because soon Moira was there and going nuts over how big the baby was, saying that we'd have to come up with some way off telling the the pale Irish redhead and the nappy-haired black baby apart besides one being called "Little". She went into full-fledged baby-talk mode soon enough, even while talking about how her boyfriend would absolutely freak at seeing her playing with the baby and saying is been too long since the last visit.
Soon business picked up up and I headed back down the road to see Momma Kamen, Karla, and her kids, who were all pretty excited to see their cousin. Karla looked pretty good - I guess things are going pretty well for her right now - and she was actually more able to joke with me about single-mom stuff than lord how I was down on her level now over me; as much as the arguments between her and Krystle are wedged in deep, I guess they've weakened over the time she's been dealing with me. Momma Kamen did pull me aside afterward and ask what my plans were now that my baby-daddy was way out of the picture like this. I told her that me and "his" parents had become close enough that there wasn't much chance of them abandoning me. A lifetime of dealing with Karla's and Krystle's messes has apparently left her suspicious on that count, but she wished me the best and told me that, if they ever changed their mind, I'd still have a place with them.
It's something I've given a bit of thought to this week, as we settled in to the new arrangement at home, and Mom and Dad really had to deal with the fact that their son is now a young single mom a little more directly. It's not like they've been denying it, but they could occasionally kind of lump me and Krystle together, like there was this vague "Jonah&Krystle" thing and they could think of either the apparent eighteen-year-old guy or the apparent twenty-four-year-old girl as whichever one of us is convenient, but now there's just me, and there's no thinking of me as just half their son.
I'm not sure whether it helps or not that I was kind of quick to reassert that. I moved back into my old room right away, and though Dad kind of shook his head at me filing the top drawer of my bureau with bras and panties, he also helped me assemble a crib so that the spare room where I'd been sleeping with Little Moira could be a full-on nursery. She's gotten too big and too good at pulling herself up for the Finnish-style baby box she's been sleeping in since birth (I wonder if Mom and Dad will give it more credit now that the person who gave it to me is "Annette" rather than "Benjamin"), but the spare room is pretty small for a bed, a crib, and a changing table, especially if if I wanted to have a spot for my laptop and a chair in there. Krystle leaving now was kind of good timing.
And I've got a car now! It's the one Mom and Dad gave to Jonah #2, and this got handed down to Krystle, so it's kind of always technically been "mine", but Krystle got attached to it and since she had a job and I was just looking after the baby, I really haven't had much chance to drive it before taking her to the airport. It's not new and cool and I suspect I'd like it a lot more if I wasn't always worried from putting the girl in a rear-facing car seat in the back, but I've already signed Moira up for swimming lessons and a couple other things to get us out of the house.
Of course, those cost money, as does gas, and Mom and Dad have already pointed out that even if I were myself again, I'd be too old for an allowance. So I'm looking for a job, probably waitressing a few nights a week, hoping that Mom and Dad won't be too upset about watching Moira. They seem kind of open to it now, but, like I said, I kind of worry about them not seeing me as their son and Moira as their granddaughter now that me and Krystle aren't a package deal anymore.
I kind of need that outlet, too. As much as I love my parents and am starting to find it hard to imagine little Moira not being somewhere nearby, all my friends have started college or don't know they should know me (and would probably have their folks tell them, in a barely-racist way, that they didn't want to spend too much time with the unwed mother five years older than they are), and it can be tough if you're not naturally a me-against-the-world type.
Gotta say, though - it doesn't suck to be sleeping in my own bed and have my parents to myself, even if nothing else is the same.