I can’t recall where I heard about the website Sweatpants & Coffee. It was probably affixed to something or other I saw elsewhere on the internet and for some time it’s been on a Post-It note stuck to my cube’s mailboxes. Today I finally had a chance to look it up. Their slogan (if that’s what you call it) reads:
“A bastion of comfort and sanity in an often uncomfortable world.”
Without browsing the site more thoroughly I can’t comment on whether that slogan is accurate, but I can say I WILL be browsing it more thoroughly. The home page is a bit on the busy side for my taste (and time) but on my first visit I managed to find my way to the Body Mind & Soul tab toward the top and there discovered Personal Essays. “True stories” are posted at that link by guest authors.
One essay there inspired me to write this post, my first in a while. Life has been hectic, what can I say? For about ten days my other half and our daughter were very sick. Somehow I dodged most of that bullet and still got out of family obligations over Mother’s Day weekend – go me! In that same month, we visited JD’s biological father and saw his art show (less impressive than it sounds, but not because the art wasn’t outstanding). Then for the last 2 weekends we were moving the daughter into her new place which is about 5 minutes from our house. That project first involved retrieving her U-Box (U-Haul’s version of mobile storage), unpacking it in near 90 degree heat, and toting the contents (including a sofa, dresser and full file cabinet) up to her second floor apartment. Fun times.
Then that Sunday we visited Mom at the nursing home. Mom has been improving in leaps and bounds by the way since they took her off oxycodone. She’s no longer paranoid, and seems like her old self, even recovering her not-so-super power: Jewish Mother Guilt (more on that later).
Following a week at work we again helped the daughter with moving. After picking up the rest of her belongings from her old boyfriend’s house we hauled all of that upstairs, went to dinner and the next day went to visit Mom again. While the other visits aren’t specifically mentioned here, that makes at least 4 weekends in a row we’ve been to see her. Each time she’s better and better and we are so grateful.
Now Father’s Day is fast approaching and of course the family plans to be together. Not unusual – a lot of families want to be together, right? But Father’s Day should be about what the Dad wants shouldn’t it? That’s me standing up for JD in his desire to NOT be part of the family gathering. After Dad passed a few years back the day just isn’t the same. I could elaborate on how it makes JD feel but I’m pretty sure I did that last year. In any case, he’s one of the fathers in question and he doesn’t want to go, so I don’t think he should have to.
Last Sunday during our visit he even told Mom ahead of time that we weren’t coming to dinner on Father’s Day. He explained that we’d been extremely busy for the past several weeks – from moving K into her apartment 2 weekends in a row to his older sister’s visit the week before that – and we’re exhausted. JD said we didn’t know what we were going to do but we needed some down time. He told me that Mom said it was a good idea. Then last night we got a call from my sister-in-law on the house phone. I started to ignore it but then thought it could be news about Mom which we wouldn’t want to miss. B said she was with Mom and Mom wanted to talk to both of us so I put it on speaker.
Enter Jewish Mother Guilt. She asked whether we were going to a hotel this weekend. I thought from that opening that she remembered talking with JD about our not being at the family dinner and told her we didn’t know what we were doing. Either she didn’t remember or she did and chose to ignore it, reminding us that A (our other daughter) had made reservations at a “little Italian” restaurant. I told her we knew that and that we’d already talked with her. Mom then said that we should bring K when we come and I had to remind her very clearly that we are not coming. I repeated what JD had said earlier about being exhausted and just wanting some time to wind down. We didn’t know whether we’d hole up at home, go for a drive and stay overnight somewhere or what. She said, and I quote as near as I can remember:
“Okay. Okay.” There was a brief pause. “Okay. If you’re happy…okay.” Sigh.
Cue the hair-pulling, teeth-clenching frustration. All I said was that yes, we were happy and told her to have fun with the rest of the family. The call ended almost immediately after that.
We didn’t lie outright about this weekend. No definitive plans had been made at that point, though we had earlier discussed the possibility of visiting JD’s bio-dad like we did last year. After the call with Mom, JD got on the phone and confirmed BioDad (now if that doesn’t sound like a superhero name I’m not a geeky gramma) would be home this weekend.
Boy did this ever get off topic…
I started this post meaning to build on the idea in the essay I saw on Sweatpants & Coffee and somehow it evolved into this. Do you suppose I needed to vent a bit? Imagine that.
So it looks like I get two posts out of that inspirational true story! Win-win!
Stay tuned; the next installment will be up soon (fingers crossed). And whatever your plans for the weekend, enjoy!