A few months back, my family nearly fell apart. Here’s how it all went down from my mom’s perspective. In this post, we negotiate our new relationship.
Note: last week, my dad took over my blog with poems. This week, my mom takes over my blog with an in-depth discussion of how our family imploded and came back together. These are some of the toughest posts I’ve ever published. Except for minor stylistic changes, these are unedited. Love you mom, dad, and sis. P.S. I’m moving out March 1st…cause I’m all growned up now!
There are Always Lumpy Bits. Life is a Lumpy Bit.
This morning my yoga instructor talked about saying the things that need to be said. Keeping them in can make you physically ill. Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever. Can we just get through the Shavasanah, I have to go to the discount bread store.
That Family Dinner was that very evening was pure coincidence. Right? Right. Still, I asked Josh the needed-to-be-said thing about the closed door and the answer was simple: He worked from home and needed total focus. No distractions. Breaking focus to sit around and chat, have a meal, would be counterproductive. Was that true? Yes. Josh, from the time he was little, has always been capable of absolute focus and single-mindedness. He starts something and runs at it 120% ‘til it’s not only finished, but perfected. That’s who he is. So, yes, I felt better. We ate.
I still have trepidation about talking with Josh but am finding that when I am open and – there’s that word again – honest, he responds similarly.
My baby Sabrina and I have had some good talks/walks through these weeks. God, she’s smart. And perceptive. And intuitive towards others. She’s dealing with her anxiety regarding her friends by being there for them when they need her and sensing when she should step back. Sabrina attracts intelligent caring people, as does Josh.
I stand back in admiration of these two young people and wonder how the heck I could have possibly been part of who they are.
This living together thing is working remarkably well but y’know what? None of my friends believe it. We all know that this situations don’t work, there was an article in the Toronto Star today. It never works, you’re fooling yourself.
I find out that Sabrina is getting exactly the same feedback from her friends who are the other side of the coin. Go know.
Thing is, as soon as I begin to relax, something panics me. The past isn’t the past yet. The other night when I asked Josh when he’d be home , jokingly(?), he said never. I said, this evening? No, he said, try again. Tomorrow? I asked, hah hah. No, he said. I give up, I said. Never, he said. Hah hah, I laughed, I sure love a good joke, me – trying to stop my heart from going into full panic mode.
But then he didn’t come home that night. In the morning he arrived home in disarray, no jacket, freezing cold, didn’t talk to us for hours. Finally, at dinner, he told us what had happened to him. I’d conjured up muggings in dark alleys, all sorts of things. Sabrina kept reassuring me. He would tell us all in due time. That evening, he did. Long story, his story not mine. But he was okay. Fine, even. He’d handled the situation very well. He was still processing the events but was positive and confident.
Problem solved. Family living is trundling along just fine.‘Til a few days later, when trouble came from a totally unexpected source: Sabrina vs. Josh.
Josh wanted us all to go to his girlfriend’s family’s home in the suburbs to celebrate her birthday as well as properly meet her family. Sabrina apologizes, she’s made plans that would be very difficult to cancel. She’d love to go but just can’t. Sorry. Josh gets prickly. This is important to him!
SABRINA: But you didn’t tell me it was important.
JOSH: I sent you a note.
SABRINA: You sent around a general online party invitation, that’s all!
After dinner, Sabrina disappears for a half hour, comes back and tells Josh that she now realizes how important this is to him. She’s managed to cancel her previous plans and will go to the party. Josh is a mensch. He apologizes to her, thanks her very much. Both of them understand that she did something pretty special because she loves her bro and he let her know how much it meant to him.
As for me – because after all everything is about me – yeah, I’m getting a bit better at not trying to over-think every tiny little action or word that they do or say because it might mean something was amiss.
I think: Maybe I’m wrong. Do you think I’m wrong? I could change what I said. Maybe it’s my hair. I’ll cut it. This sweater is definitely the wrong colour for me, I’ll go burn it now.
Photo courtesy of Gay Claitman.
Does it all go wrong? Find out in the Part Five (the final chapter) tomorrow…