This is going to be messy, and unfiltered. My thoughts are pretty much all over the place.
I didn’t test the waters with Mom today. There really wasn’t time, or enough privacy, because Kat was running around. I was me, though.
I didn’t clean my house, beyond what I would normally do. I didn’t do up my face in more makeup than I typically wear. I didn’t straighten my hair. I ordered real food, not a salad at lunch. I was just me. It felt great, it felt amazing.
The day didn’t start off great. My parents arrived just as I was talking to (read that to mean speaking in my harsh mommy voice) Kat about the rules of being allowed to play with bowls and cups of water in the living room (no you may not dump them out on the floor for the 5th time in 10 minutes!). I told them and Kat to wait, and continued the conversation I was having with my daughter ignoring my Mom and Dad. I felt guilty, but I need to stick to boundaries if have set for Kat. Once we were done, I let her go to them, and I said hi, too.
My Dad actually played with Kat for a while, just the two of them, which meant I got to talk to my mom alone. She started trying to clean my house, and I asked her to sit down and relax, hang out with me. That was hard for me, because I hate asking my Mom to do anything, but on the other hand, her constant need to clean my home makes me feel not good enough, never up to her standards. She did sit, although she made a comment of how she wasn’t trying to offend me. I chose to ignore the comment, and just focus on being with my mom.
I told her about my private yoga classes, although I said they were for my fibromyalgia, and not trauma related. I said how much I was enjoying them, and how I have been doing yoga at home with Kat, and how we do a yoga class on Wednesdays for kids and moms. We talked about Christmas, and relatives, and what I think the schedule will be. I shared with her how my mother in law got mad when Hubby and I wouldn’t force Kat to hug a friend of hers. We talked about my very strong convictions that I will never force my child to do anything like hug another person, because it’s her body, her choice. My Mom agreed, and spoke her opinions on that as well. It was nice to find that we agreed on something like that. We talked about how Kat usually will huh relatives she doesn’t see very often because Hubby and I make sure she sees pictures of them, and hears stories about them often enough that she does know them. My mom told me she thought that was really smart of me, and that she really admired the way I was parenting Kat. She seemed very real when she said that, and I felt this moment of real connection with her. I almost started talking then, about the situation between Kat and the other little girl, but my mom stood up and went to get more coffee. It was like that was all she could handle, connection wise. But, no matter what, that moment happened, and for me, it was the very best part of the day.
We went to Dairy Queen for lunch, which was Kat’s choice. It’s not a place either of my parents would choose to eat for a meal. But Kat loves DQ, and I don’t mind letting her have fast food once in a while. I want her to know all types of food are okay to eat, not just the “good for you foods.” In our home, we call food growing food, vitamin food, keep-you-full food, and fun food. We don’t label it as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. I honestly think our labels are more accurate. Kat chose chicken fingers (keep-you-full food/growing food), apple sauce (vitamin food) and of course an ice cream bar (fun food). I also had a kid’s meal, but I got grilled cheese. And I thought my mother might faint from that, but she didn’t say a word.
We spent the afternoon at the pool, which is actually part of our gym. I think my Mom and Dad were impressed with how nice the gym is, and how nice the pool is. Kat and I swim several days a week, and so we know a lot of people there. Both my parents remarked on how everyone seems to know us. I think that surprised them, for some reason. I just smiled, and said that we swim at least 3 days a week, usually 5. That surprised my mom. I think she thinks I don’t exercise anymore, I’m not sure. But it was nice to get to show them a part of my life they don’t usually see. A lot of the older folks at the pool today told my parents, when I introduced them, that they had done a great job raising me, I was a wonderful girl, so polite, and that their granddaughter was a doll. It was sweet.
I was reminded, while swimming, how my Dad taught me to swim. He made sure I could tread water, and hold my berth when I went under. Then he threw me in, and said, “swim!” I’m pretty sure he hollered instructions on how to swim, too. I said something to him about this, and he chuckled, and said, “yeah. I knew I could get you out if I needed to. You knew that, too. I wouldn’t have thrown you in like that if you didn’t trust me to save you.” And he looked at me, almost like he was questioning that now, but he was right. I told him so. “I always trusted you to save me,” I said. And we had a moment of connecting. I’m not sure who broke this one, me or Dad. But I realized that I did always trust him to save me, and he never saved me from Kenny. Crap. That is something I’ll be talking to Bea about in the morning.
We got back to the house just shortly after Hubby got home from work. He asked me if I was okay, which was sweet. He knows the stress my parents give. Today, though, I was able to tell him that I was honestly okay, good even. My Mom and Dad had to leave shortly after that, because Dad has an early day tomorrow at work. I hugged them both, and when I said I was glad they came, I meant it.
I am glad they came. I had a moment of connection with each of them today. It was just seconds, but it was real, it was authentic, it was there. And I’m damned thankful.