‘Mum, can you marry Harry’s dad please so me and Harry can be brothers?’ asked my eldest son Taylor at the top of his voice while on the school run.
It was one of those moments in motherhood where I wanted the ground to open and swallow me, as I frantically looked around to make sure no one had heard my son trying to wed me off.
It was July 2017 and I’d been single for about a month. I certainly wasn’t looking for a new relationship – much less one with my son’s best friend’s dad!
‘It doesn’t quite work like that,’ I explained to Taylor, as I handed him his school bag. ‘And anyway, I have no idea who Harry’s dad is, so sorry, that isn’t going to happen.’
If only I knew…
I put Taylor’s words down to kids being kids – plus, when I thought I’d spotted Harry’s dad on the playground, I was sorely disappointed – so when he didn’t mention it again, I completely forgot about it.
That was, until I went out with some friends to a local wine bar. There were quite a few of the school mums out having a drink there too, and I jokingly mentioned what Taylor had said to one of them. ‘Oh, I know Harry’s dad, he’s here,’ she smiled. ‘Let me introduce you.’
Before I could stop her, off she went to get James. And to my pleasant surprise, it wasn’t the man I thought he was. In fact, he was actually pretty hot.
We chatted for a while and, laughingly, I told him what Taylor had said, but he didn’t really say a lot.
So the next day, when he sent me a flirty text, I was completely taken aback. How about we put the kids’ theory to the test?
I didn’t want a relationship, but I was intrigued. James seemed nice… Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to go out on a date, and potentially be spoiled. So I texted him back shortly after. ‘Why not?’
Our first date ended up being on Harry’s birthday. James suggested that, as well as Taylor, my younger son and I joined them, and he’d bring his daughter too. We were going bowling, then having lunch followed by a trip to the cinema – the six of us.
It felt pretty weird meeting James along with two of his children, but within minutes we were all laughing and mucking around enjoying ourselves like we’d known each other for ages. I expect to the outside world, we just looked like a normal family!
I felt relaxed and comfortable, something I really wasn’t expecting, and I let myself think maybe there could be something here.
The final part of Harry’s birthday celebrations was a sleepover at his mum’s. I’d already arranged for Taylor to go and we’d sorted everything out – but what I hadn’t realised was James had asked Harry’s mum to have my youngest too.
It was undoubtedly the oddest first date I’d been on, but, after spending the day together, I found myself excited to spend some time on our own, so I ended up going with it.
So after the cinema we dropped the kids off, and James and I went to our local pub for dinner and drinks.
Although the conversation flowed and I found James attractive, I was still a bit guarded. I’d been so hurt in my last relationship, I didn’t want to rush into another.
But after a few weeks it was crystal clear that James wasn’t like anyone else I’d dated before. He was the kindest, most thoughtful and honest man I’d ever met.
And it was clear that we had something special. You know the prince in the fairytale? Well, James was mine.
Things moved pretty quickly after that. Within six weeks, James and his kids moved in with me and my boys, and life as a blended family started. The kids were over the moon that we were together.
I think seeing James and I so happy was all they ever wanted.
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Platform is the home of Metro.co.uk’s first-person and opinion pieces, devoted to giving a platform to underheard and underrepresented voices in the media.
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The following March, James proposed on a boat in the middle of Dubai Marina – it was so romantic, just perfect.
Then in August 2019 we married on a beach in Cyprus, our dream wedding with our closest friends and family around us.
Looking back to that day in July, I never thought for a second that Taylor’s wish would actually come true – or that my son would have been the one to lead me to my future husband!
So, How Did It Go?
So, How Did It Go? is a weekly Metro.co.uk series that will make you cringe with second-hand embarrassment or ooze with jealousy as people share their worst and best date stories.
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