That may be the first deep breath since the beginning of all the holiday madness. We keep ours pretty simple overall- no traveling to 65 different places in one day, no airports or trains, or boats. Travel time is less than 15 minutes overall. We could do those other things I guess, but it was a conscious choice not to when Bear and I first got together. It still seems like there’s a lot to do though.
Dinner and family. Prep for gifts. Decorations. Tree. Work. More gift prep. Dinner and friends. And family. Open gifts. Relax. Work. Dinner and family. Open gifts. Open more gifts (we do this over 3 days, due to denominational differences). Go see a movie. Relax. Work (repeat). Dinner with friends. Oh look it’s the New Year! Work. Plan birthday.
*Is it over yet?* Yes? AAhhhhhhhhhhhh…..
Just typing that wore me out. It’s not that there’s a lot- but that it all seems to run together for about 2 months. 3 if you count October and Samhain, but with a little break thrown in. Happily there is a bit of a long pause, and then.. Spring!
So I’m hanging around the house today, organising the cabinets that have deteriorated into chaos while waiting for my sister to come get her gifts. Just chillin’. Music on. Helped the boy bake some scones, so I’m snarfing those down while they’re warm with my coffee. And finally she shows (a couple hours late, but at least she got here Today, right?) She comes in with a foil covered plate and a present. And I know, just looking at the plate. Just like that.
Maybe I should offer some backstory here……
I haven’t spoken to the woman who gave birth to me (kindly referred to from here on as my sister’s mother) in about 3 1/2 years or so. This came about for a variety of reasons, and since this change my life has been more peaceful, calm and stress-free than it ever was when I still had contact with her. (Yes, I know, it seems so sad- but it’s not, really. I promise. And yes, I know how cold I sound.) Anyway, her standard gift each year to pretty much everyone is baked goods on a plate wrapped in foil. Which I have not received (or regretted) in all that time.
I have wondered for a bit now (prodded mostly by the cards I’ve been pulling lately in my tarot readings) if she would try to make contact anytime soon. So when I saw the plate Piecrust brought me, I knew.
The only reason I hesitated to leave that particular door closed was Monkey. So, Bear and I discussed it. I vented, he vented. We discussed. And we came to the point that (sad it may be) Monkey is better off without her influence in his life. And so are we. So we spoke with him about it,- which was a bit anxiety ridden for me, because I don’t want to make the wrong move here and have him hate me forever for it. And you know what?
He says he’s ok with it.
I know. He’s 11-almost-12. He can’t possibly know for sure. For that matter, neither can I. But I trust him. I have been as level and even keeled with him about all this as I possibly can. I have tried to make clear that if he has questions or wants to talk about it that he can, with either of us. I ask over and over if I’ve missed anything from Bear’s (somewhat wider) perspective. I ask Monkey if he has questions, comments, anything he wants to point out. And I watch him while he talks. His words tell me he is ok with the whole thing. His eyes tell me he’s sad about it, but I think that’s natural- given the case. His body language tells me he feels comfortable with talking to us about it, and asking questions.
He asks why she drinks so much. I try to explain the mentality of alcoholism and the idea of drowning your problems, and the addiction in the body. He asks why she won’t take responsibility for her actions.
What do I say to that?
Some people take longer to learn that lesson than others, I guess. I do my best with it. I find myself defending her at moments from the judgments he makes on her behaviour out of lack of experience. But he seems to be genuinely ok with it. It helps that he has 2 other grandmothers to love and be with, I hope, even though one person cannot replace another.
As for myself, I’m glad. There are the odd moments of sadness, when I remember what she was like before the booze. But I have moved on. I don’t beat myself for it either, except where Monkey is concerned. And I try not to do that too much, but to look clearly at those moments and ask what is best for Him and if I’m doing that or being selfish and spiteful. Anyway, now I know what I’m doing. The door will stay closed, the baked goods uneaten, the booze in the bottle. And I will continue to wish her well, hoping that someday she will be able to make the decision to make things better for herself.