I've often wondered what my kid and CB's kids think of the new person in their parent's life. Mr W was only 4 when his dad and I split up, so I he's lived with his parents apart for as long as they were together. Since I'm in a long-distance relationship, Mr W usually has me to himself. Also, when CB and I see each other, I usually come down here (I'm in AZ at the moment) because he travels so much.
We picked up CB's kids yesterday for a visit, and were winding down yesterday, when the younger one asks, "Is Linda staying over tonight?" "Yes." "Is she sleeping in your bed?" "Yes." "Why?" "Because she's my girlfriend."
And then the best part, said with incredulity:
"She's not your girlfriend!" "Yes, she is." That took a few moments to sink in and then we talked about something else. It makes me wonder, how do these kids view me? I think that Mr W, being an only child, sees his parents with new partners as ultimately a good thing. He gets more one on one attention when he's at either house, so it's good. I guess CB's kids see me in a pretty neutral way as an occasional visitor.
I think about when I was growing up, and how scandalous (and a thing worthy of judgement) it was when a kid's parents got divorced. Being in Catholic school, it just didn't happen often. Now, it's common enough that other kids know it's not a reason to view a kid with disdain. I'm glad for that.
And, incidentally, Mr W did the same thing as CB's kid the last time CB came to my house. It went something like this: "Is he sleeping over?" "Yes." "Where is he going to sleep?" "In my bed." "Why does he get to sleep in your bed?" And on...
Ultimately, I think kids are pretty accepting of new stuff as long as their needs are met.