Thursday night, Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent at my parents. It was the family’s annual wine tour reunion.
I drove down Thursday night with the nanny and Kat. My uncles, my aunt and my parents were there. The uncles lives in California, and we only see them once a year. They were having wine before dinner, and some appetizers. Kat is getting to know everyone and was happy to chat with them and play in the backyard with her nanny while the adults enjoyed some wine. We had dinner, and then my Dad made a fire in their fire pit, and we roasted marshmallows.
Friday, Hubby arrived, as well as ten more relatives. At 1:00pm, we all piled into the limo for the wine tour, and Kat headed off to the children’s museum and the movies with her nanny. I had a good time, actually. It was so much better than last year. Last year, I had just told Bea about Kenny, I wasn’t even referring to it as a real thing, it was all hypothetical, and it was the first time I had been back at my parents’ house since telling, the first time back in my old room. It was, as Bea put it, like whacking a hornets nest. Everything was out, flashbacks and nightmares and panic attacks; I was extremely triggered. While I didn’t sleep much this year, and I had the occasional moments of panic, and nightmares were definitely present, as was some very big hurt feelings around my mom, this year was so much better. I had fun. I enjoy this side of the family very much, and because I really didn’t see them much growing up, or get to know them until recently (the last 5 years of this family reunion wine tour), I have no bad memories of them. It’s nice.
Saturday, we hung out at the beach, and even though the water was freezing and most of us wore sweatshirts it was a blast. We chatted, walked around, laughed at ourselves as we stuck our toes on the icy water and watched the kids dig holes in the sand. Our nanny drove my car back home that afternoon, after the beach. That night we cooked out at my parents, and hung out in the backyard on the deck. Kat played with my cousin’s two little girls, and didn’t need me or hubby at all. After dinner, we sat around the fire; the older family members telling stories about their childhoods. It was nice and relaxing.
Sunday was kayaking day. Hubby went, but Kat and I stayed at the house. I felt like I hadn’t spent much time with her all weekend, so we snuggled a bit and then walked over to the park. It was a warmer day than it had been all weekend, and it felt nice to be outside and feel the sun on my face. I watched Kat swing, and climb the jungle gym like a little monkey, we had a good time together, and I wasn’t triggered.
The weekend was busy, but it was also relaxing. It was a break from being in my head. I love spending time with my family and talking to them. Many of them work in some sort of therapy type job, and have experience with kids on the spectrum, so I can really relax and not worry about Kat. Many of them commented on how different she seems, how much better she is at managing her emotions and stressful situations, how she is so much more social and independent now.
What’s funny to me is that all of these people feel wholly and truly authentic to me, and accepting. It makes me wonder what happened with my mom, to make her like she is, with her mask and fear of emotions.