September 15, 2008

Five Weeks and Three Days Until Landfall

Or, About A Month From Now, The Perfect Storm Will Manifest When Mom Comes To Visit and We're Under the Same Roof Again for Twelve Days.

From the time I was 17 till my husband and I moved out when I was 23, it was just been me and mom. Mom and me. Two women, too much alike, sharing space. For those of you who aren't familiar with my family - or more specifically, my mom's family - my mom's family is FULL of hot-tempered women. Some are less obvious than others. But we're all very feisty, anger quickly, and can whip ourselves into a panties-twisted frenzy in 1.4 seconds. We take most flip comments way too personally and it ends up with us picking fights with whomever made that unfortunate comment. God help the complete stranger who says something out of turn and I catch wind of it. Some shmuck at the Kaiser pharmacy almost got an earful. Lucky for him, I didn't hear about what was said until we were leaving and he was long gone.

The women in my family, myself included, are not afraid to make a scene. Restaurants, banks, grocery stores, doctors offices...if we've been wronged, everybody within a 25-foot radius, as well as bystanders listening as we exit the building (because we're still bitching and mad as hell when we leave), knows about it.

So imagine two of these women living together, one constantly standing in judgment of the other. We fought like crazy. My poor husband bore witness to us calling each other "bitches," and as I stormed off was left standing there with my fuming mom looking at him as if to say, "What? You wanna say something?" We rarely agree on anything. We can't talk about my brother, politics, religion, how to prepare food, laundry (yes, laundry), childcare...the list is endless.

You know what she said to me right after I graduated from college? And by "right after," I mean, " we're walking out of the stadium and leaving after the ceremony." She did not say, "Congratulations, Darcie," or "I'm really proud of you, kiddo." She said, "So when are you going to start applying to graduate school?"

I wasn't planning on graduate school. Thanks, mom.

So, for the third time in 5.5 years, she's coming out to see us again. Every time she visits, we fight. It's like no time has passed, I haven't aged five years, and she's still in charge of me. She thinks she still has the ultimate influence over me and my decisions. She's actually encouraged me to make decisions regarding our children behind my husband's back! Oy.

I do look forward to my mom's visits, I really do. But a small part of me dreads it because I'm afraid I'm building up her visit to be much more pleasant than experience has taught me it will be. She's very hard on me, she judges and makes rude remarks, and always ends up hurting my feelings. I've tried calling her on it and it only helps in the short-term.

This isn't to say we don't have our laughs and enjoy each others company for the better part of the trip. We do. We reminisce a lot too, which I think she really enjoys as she gets older. Unfortunately, it only takes one remark or reaction from her to sour an otherwise pleasant day.

On the flip side, I can't wait to see her with my kids. When mom last saw Beth, Beth was only 15 months old. She was just learning to walk, had not yet spoken, and in my eyes, was still a baby. Now she's a little girl, 3.5 going on 13, filled with attitude, spunk, and a thirst for knowledge. Let's not forget the fact that she's a totally conversational, talkative, jabbering-like-a-monkey-in-a-tree KID. And of course, there's my son. Happy little guy, all kinds of entertaining.

Seeing her with them will make me wish she lived closer. To them. Not to me. Ha ha. We both agree we're better friends when we live apart. It makes peace easier to keep.


Super Blogger Girl! said...

That's a really cute picture of you and your Mom.

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