Thanksgiving has come and gone here in Canada.
My parents came in for the weekend, flying in on Saturday and left on Monday. It was a short and sweet visit, made better by the fact that we managed to keep it a surprise from the kids until the very moment we spotted them at the airport.
I told Little E and Z we had to go pick up a “special package” and had them guessing the whole trip out to the airport. My Dad FaceTimed the kids while I was pulling up to the arrivals gate and Little E was chatting on the phone with him, telling him all about the package we were going to pick up from the airport when my Dad knocked on the car door. The look on the kids faces was priceless as they both called out his name. They were beyond happy and shocked as they jumped out and gave massive hugs all around. It was perfect.
From the airport I took my parents to two different winerys to do a few wine tastings, you know, since I live in wine country. While we were there I took some beautiful pictures of them with the kids since we don’t have these opportunities often. Once we finally got home, Z toured my Dad around our house since he’s not yet seen it in person, making sure to point out all the irrelevant things like the toaster and the dishwasher etc, as small children are prone to do as tour guides (eye roll). Then of course we went for a nice long walk on the beach which ended with the kids showing off all their stone throwing abilities. We finished out the Saturday with an easy supper, since I’m a crappy cook, and the kids went to sleep and my parents did their Netflix thing, and that was that. Fairly simple.
The stress of the fact that my parents were visiting didn’t set in until Sunday morning. When my mom started noticing, ‘politely’ of course if that’s possible, all the things I needed to do around my yard. So off we were on a trip to Canadian Tire to buy a Edger for the grass and work gloves to pull the weeds. I’m not an outdoor person. At all. So ok. Fine. Thank you. They even bought Little E a new hockey net for him to practice with in the yard, which in theory is nice. But for some reason, it’s the way my mom does it, that makes me feel…not good enough in some way? I don’t know how to explain it. Taking me to the kitchen section saying I need a new roasting pot and it’s her treat. And how “it’s so simple to use, just throw the whole chicken in there with some veggies and onions and potatoes etc and throw it in the oven”. Mom. Thank you, but first off, there is no way my kids and I could ever eat a whole chicken before it went bad. As it is, we share one chicken breast for dinner. Secondly, I do know how to roast a damn chicken. I was married. I did manage to keep all four of us alive with beautifully cooked meals every night. It’s not that I don’t think a roast chicken would be lovely and delicious, it’s just that for the three of us, two of the “us” being kids, it would be a waste. Thirdly, when I do want to roast anything, I do have perfectly good pans at home, they just don’t have lids, so that’s what good old tin foil is for. Just because it’s not the same set up you have in your kitchen, doesn’t mean it’s sub-par.
So fine, we left the store with no roasting pan, but instead she got me a new frying pan since mine was shit. No arguing, she was not stopping, so fine a pan it was. Next, we went to the grocery store, because my mom needed TWO things for her cabbage rolls that she was bringing for the Thanksgiving dinner that night. Ok. Two things. I had brought my small reusable bag and everything, planning to buy TWO THINGS.
Well instead we went up and down basically every aisle, because according to her, my fridge was empty and I had hardly anything in my house.
OKAYYYY. Just because I don’t keep every sauce and dressing imaginable stored in my fridge, doesn’t mean I don’t have food in my house. I buy meat in bulk, and then divide it into smaller portions and keep it in the freezer. I have a huge fruit bowl that I keep on the counter that’s full of fresh fruit all the time. All the snacks, breads, canned things are in the cupboards. And the veggies are in the fridge. I don’t really see what else you need that the fridge needs to be jam packed all the time?
But that didn’t stop her from buying cereal that we already had. Peanut butter in a massive jar, which we not only already had, but I will hardly be able to ever use since the kids can’t take it to school, and bulk peanut butter cookies and chips. As well as steaks. Ok the steaks I can totally get on board with. It was delicious to fry up a steak last night in my new pan.
But there’s still the feelings of judgement. Like C your not doing good enough, so here’s how you should be living.
Especially when we got home and the four of them spent between 30-45 minutes mowing and edging the lawn which I honestly thought was fine. Oh my mom even did look for the dead rat… no longer there. Not sure if that’s good or bad news, but it is what it is.
Anyways. Deep down I totally understand that they are just trying to help and be nice, but on the other side, they were here for vacation, for their Thanksgiving and I wanted them to enjoy it. Not spend all their money and time working. But I guess it just wasn’t my choice.
Sunday afternoon they took the kids to see the new movie Smallfoot, which they said was fun, while I monitored the cabbage rolls in the oven and had a shower, and then it was off to my uncles for dinner.
Dinner was actually one of the most enjoyable family holiday dinners I can ever remember having. It was chill and relaxed and my uncle played baseball with Little E in the yard for a good half hour and Z got to help in the kitchen, which is her favorite thing to do, help. Dinner was delicious, and company was good, my kids were well behaved which always takes the stress off me. Even my Grandpa was fine. Although there were moments I felt bad for him. Yes, me. I felt sorry for my Grandpa. I just felt like at times no one was listening to him. Yes he’s getting old and maybe his stories are a little irrelevant, dosen’t mean he should be ignored. So I made a point to take some time to sit and talk with him (on the opposite side of the room). Even though I really no longer like him, I just felt like everyone deserves to be heard. Despite everything. Besides, I still can’t quite figure out if he remembers what happened or not. Either way, I keep my distance, and always monitor my kids closely around him.
After the meal, we were back at my house by maybe 8:30 and my parents watched a bit of tv while I went to bed, since I hadn’t slept well the night before. I gave my parents my room/bed and I was using Z’s, which was sooooo uncomfortable. Correction, it’s a really comfortable mattress, but I’m used to my super soft one, which is probably awful for my back, but it’s what I’m used to. Z on the other hand is 50 lbs and has hardly made a dent on hers so it was very firm, not my favorite.
Then just like that, Monday morning came and we had to leave by 10am to get to the airport in time. Let’s just say there were more than a few tears shed on Z’s behalf. I had to physically grab her off of my Mom and put her in the car while she acted like a limp rag doll, yet simultaneously crying her head off, impressive to say the least. I just hoped no one thought I was kidnapping a child from the airport. I’ve had to many experiences with people questioning if my kids are mine or not, so I was not interested in dealing with that again. Once the kids were in the car and my parents had made their quick getaway, I noticed the tears rolling down Little E’s cheeks as well. So I knew I would need a distraction or the whole ride home I would be dealing with a hysterical Z as well as Little E crying. I pulled into the closest Timmy’s and got a few timbits for the kids and we discussed how it’s ok to be sad and have those emotions, but we also have to know how to also calm ourselves down. I reassured them that we can call Nanna and Nonno whenever we like, same as before as well as the fact that we will be going to visit them at Christmas. At least this way, we have the memories of their visit to reflect upon.
And good memories are better than none at all.
-Sarah McLachlan/I Will Remember You-