This morning my parents drove off to get back to their lives. The last couple of days have been tear and dread filled as we got closer and closer to them pulling out of the driveway. Granted, the emotions have been heavily influenced by my messy postpartum state. But that is a post for another day, hopefully one in the near future. Now that I'm alone again during the day I hope to get back into the swing of things blog-wise.
So Mom and Dad. They drove up here 5 weeks ago thinking I'd have C at any moment. Um, it was a really long two weeks and one day for all of us. Especially me. Especially Z. Especially my folks. Yup, for all of us.
Since I became a mom I've had several occasions to spend extended time with my parents. And unsurprisingly it makes me think a ton about growing up. My family life hasn't been perfection and daisies and unicorns, I'm not trying to whitewash anything here. None of us were or are perfect. We've all hurt each other in pretty catastrophic and creative ways. But what family doesn't do that stuff? No one is perfect. People hurt each other, it's life. It my opinion it's worth it because the good so far outweighs the bad. That comparison is something a boyfriend once said as he was breaking up with me. He said it doesn't make sense to stay together when the bad outweighed the good. It was an awful relationship, thank god he had the balls to end it. And what he said really had a profound influence on the way I view any kind of relationship, that one sentence was one of the best things he gave me in our more than two years together. Over the years it has made me think of the ebb and flow of good times and hard times in any close relationship in my life. It made me start to accept that people won't be perfect and things will be hard no matter what. It helped me start to forgive people close to me for perceived hurts that I nursed for more than a decade and made me realize I'd done plenty of hurting myself. I bet you a million bucks he wouldn't remember saying it. It's funny how small moments in life can be so important to one person and so insignificant to the other. So yes, my family isn't perfect. But there is a lot of good there.
It isn't like I won't talk to them every day. T will still see them via Skype (the world's greatest invention for grandparents who live far from their offspring). But living with them again for a month made me feel like a kid again. Or it made me remember being a kid more than I usually do. And there is something incredibly melancholy about knowing that time is gone forever. As a kid all I wanted to do was grow up. Don't get me wrong, now that I have my own family I wouldn't give it up for anything. I just wish I'd appreciated my life as a kid when I had it. The other reality is my folks are getting older. Thankfully they are in great health, but they aren't the same people I lived with in high school more than a decade and a half ago (gulp). This idea that I could exist in a world where they do not is inconceivable to me. I still need them. My boys need them. Again, they are totally fine. In my mind they are going to be around for several more decades. But it makes every moment we can spend with them feel important.
They were a tremendous help with both T and C, and frankly, with me as well. I was in pretty rough shape for the first two weeks after leaving the hospital. Having my Mom there to take care of me and my kids helped me get better faster. They did the cooking and cleaning and childcare. Z only missed teaching two classes while I was in the hospital, they helped make it unnecessary for him to have to miss anything else. We were spoiled rotten. Of course I'm going to miss all that stuff. It made my life ridiculously easy. But it isn't what I'm going to miss the most.
To me the best part of their visit was how much I like them and enjoy being around them. Swear to god. I'm not blowing smoke up anyone's ass here. I really do feel like they are friends that I look up to and seek out for advice. I also have a ton of fun with them. We laugh all the time. And the way they are with T? I'm so grateful he's exposed to their brand of silliness. Every morning my mom would bring T into their bedroom so he could wake my dad by jumping on him. And my dad would throttle him with a pillow as he laughed hysterically. My mom would shout "Cowabunga!" and jump on the pair of them. Before I put him down for a nap today T pointed to his belly and said "Operation! Liver! Onions! Bologna!" to me. Every day my dad would pretend to operate on him by pulling liver and then onions out of his belly and telling him his belly was full of bologna and it needed to be sewn up before it all fell out. When he said goodnight to T he'd pretend to pull birds out of his ears. They both would chase him around the first floor of the house, all three of them shrieking and laughing. And T's constant refrain was, "Again! Again!" My folks know how to have a good time with a two year old.
They know how to have a good time with a 34 year old as well. I admire them and I don't have the words to express how grateful I am to them for everything they do for us. I already miss them so much.
He really isn't supposed to be in the bassinet.
And yet, here he is, having a ball.
Um, here it is being used properly.
He loves chewing on metal. We have no idea what it means, but it makes us laugh pretty hard.
Super-Grandma and her boys.
The two Ts.