Last night I saw The Kid's doppelgänger. It was downright spooky. I was at a talk for us creative types and partway through, she moved to a seat in the front row. (Of course we early arrivals all sat in the back. All the better to throw spitballs.)
I was completely shocked. The Doppelgänger had The Kid's hair - the way it looked best - natural and free, which of course means that The Kid pulled it back into a ponytail while still wet for maximum damage. Doppelgänger had glasses like The Kid, and similar features. She looked so like The Kid that I was tempted to talk to her to see if she were one of the relatives that The Kid's been cut off from for years. But I didn't because that would be excessively freaky. And she left before the talk was over.
But I watched her when I could, sitting up there in the front row, devoid of the constant anxiety that plagued The Kid. She draped her arm over the back of a chair, stole glances at a smartphone. Based on the rest of the crowd, she may even be the artist that The Kid could've grown into.
I looked at her and thought that this was the woman my ex future child would never be. I don't think it would be telling too much to say that she didn't fall into happily ever after once she left us. The path she's on now...well I don't see it leading to art school or a job at a design agency.
It's not my fault. It's not hers. It's just how things are.
My therapist says that I need to create a narrative about what happened. Then I'll be able to accept it and move on. Something like: I used to date that jerk because I wasn't making very good choices then because I'd just been dumped and wanted validation from the first guy that came along. Then I got less stupid and dumped him.
But how do you do that with a child? Is there a beginning, middle and end to the story? Can there be an end when her doppelgänger can just walk into the room? Or when hating her like I would an ex-boyfriend, even temporarily doesn't make me feel any better? How do you turn your ex future child into just someone you used to know?