Tag Archives: family

The ties that bind

27 Jun

We recently bought our plane tickets to go home to Michigan in October. Mostly for a friend’s wedding, but also to visit family and friends. I’m looking forward to our visit because I’m missing everyone like crazy recently, with one exception.

My mother.

I don’t even think I want to tell her I’m going to be in town.

I don’t know if this is possible? Our last meeting wasn’t a total disaster, but it also wasn’t a resounding vote for a repaired mother-daughter relationship either. Our contact since then has consisted of her writing “happy birthday” on my wall on Facebook. I said thank you. Two months and one Facebook wall post. Prior to their separation (I can’t even call it a divorce, because it’s not and I almost think it never will be) we’d talk two to three times a week. I just don’t want to bother with her right now.

Can I do that? Can I slip in, visit everyone else, pretend she doesn’t exist? I feel like no. I feel it’s fundamentally wrong. Conversely, though, should I have to go out of my way to try to include someone who’s shown time and time again they’re not interested? I have less than a week on this trip, and really less than half a week because we have to split between my and Husband’s hometowns. Is it really fair to me to have to section of a part of my time home to be miserable, when I could be spending more time with my father or friends?

I’m just so exhausted with the whole situation. It was hard enough for us to relate when things were well, now I find it harder and harder to forge a connection when I feel like I’m being thrown away at every turn. Maybe I would be more likely to include her if I had any indication that our situation, that the way things are between us now passed through her mind at all? I’m spinning my wheels on it on a near daily basis, and I have a sneaking suspicion the same can’t be said about her.

At this point, I think if I hear from her, I’ll tell her. If I don’t…. then I don’t.

At least it’s a decision and I can remove the idea from my mind for now. October is pretty far away, anyway.

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Oh, crap.

4 Jun

Uh-oh.

If you stay very quiet and still and listen very closely, you might just hear it.

…tick tock tick tock tick tock…

Biological clock. Baby fever.

I’m such a cliche.

I was never really one of those girls who fawned over babies. I didn’t even really enjoy baby dolls as much as the other girls.I never begged for a baby brother or sister, I didn’t enjoy when family members brought their small children around. I’ve always been sort of ambivalent about having my own. I knew the odds are I would eventually end up with at  least one child. But I didn’t plan for it or expect it or really even think about it too much. I don’t have names picked out. Even as my contemporaries began having babies, I’ve sort of taken it in stride. Congrats on your baby, no thanks I don’t need to hold it, is there any diet Coke?

Since we’ve moved here, I’ve been spending a lot more time with my niece and nephew. They’re just three and almost two, and so adorable I can’t even handle it. The girl is an insane combination of highly verbal and nonsensical. She took to me right away, grabbing my hand, “Aunt Cally, Aunt Cally, do you want to play with my stickers they have a tea party set one time there was a cow and sparkle papercut heffalump Barbie!” She has an endless amount of energy and drags you from toy to toy, from thing to thing and story to story with a bubbly charm.

The boy is very much Two, with his wild mood swings and his screaming tantrumming and his mind-meltingly adorable cuddliness. He was wary of me, being brand new to him and all, for a while. He would smile and play coy and hide behind his mother’s legs, but immediately cry if ever found alone with me. Then somewhere near the end of our third visit he decided I was worth it, brought me his Cars 2 DVD and collapsed into my lap with a giant hug. When we went to leave, he threw his arms about my legs and kissed my knees goodbye. I’m pretty sure if you had one of those little heart monitors from How the Grinch Stole Christmas I would have busted the shit out of that.

Then I started reading random articles on babycenter, scouring mommy blogs for birth stories. And that’s how I ended up with a spread sheet on my computer, hidden within a nest of folders and misleadingly titled “graduate school applications” that contains an excruciating cost analysis of the different types of cloth diapers and disposables. With a perceived level of ease rating system.

What is wrong with me?

I do this, though. I researched moving to Florida and played it close to the  chest for about four months before I brought up the idea to Husband. I was looking at wedding invitations and making lists of things I planned to DIY and spreadsheets of possible venues up to a year before we were even engaged. In complete and total secret. It’s almost like I need a while to warm up to any idea, and until I get to the point of acceptance I obsess neurotically about every single aspect associated with the decision.

So even though we’ve come down with a case of baby fever over here, since babies have about a gazillion decisions and variables, you can likely expect us to add one to the mix in about fifteen years. I hope people are still using spreadsheets in the future, because I’d hate for all the work I do now to expire by then.

Solitary confinement

9 May

I need to preface all of this by saying I’m not complaining.

Well, I am complaining. A  little. But it’s not a what’s wrong with them, so much as a what’s wrong with me.

Let’s back up.

I have no idea how to live around people. When Husband and I moved to Chicago, it was me, husband, and Kobe. Eventually we added Marty. And that was it. We did what we wanted, we came and go as we pleased. We had some friends, but no one to really feel obligated to. And we would trek back to Michigan about twice a year, and cram all the family fun into a week or so before returning to our mostly solitary existence. Things were divided, but it was comfortable. If I wanted to ignore everyone for a week and watch marathons of cooking shows, I could. That was life for about five years.

It sounds like it could be lonely, I suppose, but it wasn’t terribly. We still had access to everyone by the internet and phone. It was quiet. Peaceful?

Now, we’re within striking distance of a multitude of different relatives. Everyone wants to go somewhere, and do something, birthday parties and dinners and barbecues. And we’ve only been here a week. I’m overwhelmed. I’m not used to this much interaction. I’m like a social camel. One great social interaction can last me months while I hole up in my couch nest ranting about frosting on the internet. I know, too, that our presence is sort of like a new toy, and once we’ve been here for a while it’s likely everyone won’t feel the need to get all together in every spare minute. I also know this is how it was for me in the Before Time, and I will adjust accordingly to human interaction.

But until it dies down, I’m just so, so tired. Good thing espresso exists.