Quiet evenings with her 11-year-old son – then back to separate homes

By Natasha Stoynoff
Updated May 27, 2009 09:15 AM
Jeff Vespa/WireImage

So how do the original Sexiest Man Alive and his musician girlfriend spend their time together?

Work, work, work, say family and friends – and then a little low-profile playtime.

By day, Mel Gibson, 53, and Oksana Grigorieva, who is pregnant with Gibson’s eighth child, are hard at work at their respective careers – Gibson tending to film projects at his Santa Monica office while Grigorieva keeps busy making music at her house in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

“[Oksana] spent the last nine months locked up in a studio,” her mother Lyudmila Chernukha, a retired music teacher, tells PEOPLE of her daughter’s collection of new songs – all of which Oksana, 39, wrote, arranged and sang herself.

Once work is over for the couple and the school bell has rung for Grigorieva’s son, Alexander, 11, it’s family time. The musician and her son will often meet up with Mel – who is in the midst of divorce proceedings with his wife, Robyn – at his office or his Malibu home, sometimes dropping by a Russian restaurant that serves dishes from Grigorieva’s homeland: borscht, chicken Kiev and sturgeon.

“It [seems] very important to Oksana that Mel and her son bond,” says a source. “Mel is fun to be around and great with kids.”

‘Someone to Take Care of Her’

At the end of the evening, the couple typically return to their separate homes so Grigorieva can get her son, whose dad is actor Timothy Dalton, off to a local school in the mornings. “She gets on well with Timothy Dalton, he is the father of her son after all,” says Grigorieva’s mother. “They parted on good terms and they see each other a lot.”

Looking forward to their baby together has the couple, and their friends, giddy. “Oksana is a good mother and she’ll make a great mother to Mel’s child,” says one of her friends. “She’s found the greatest thing in life, someone to take care of her and a father to her children.”

Soon, the pianist might not be able to reach the piano keys across her bulging belly. But no matter, says another friend. Like music, motherhood is another of Oksana’s callings.

“We’re very happy for her. She was trying to make it and now she has. She wins. She’s come from a rough background to find true happiness. Now she’ll do what she does best: be a mom and play piano.”