Saturday, May 30, 2009
- I know I just said I didn't have time for Weekend Updates. This definitely doesn't mean I'm going to keep up with them every week, though.
- This is really the busiest time of the year in our family. From Mother's Day until Dagny's birthday in July, there's either a holiday or birthday every two weeks. At least the Fourth of July isn't a gift-giving occasion, but since we're planning on inviting the in-laws to come and enjoy the fireworks with us, it'll be just as busy as the other weekends.
- I had my usual Mother's Day meltdown, but this time it was on Mother's Day eve. I do this almost every year--Mother's Day makes me depressed. Carl, bless his heart, talks it out with me every year, and every year I think I've got a handle on it, but every year I get depressed all over again.
I'm not really sure we've gotten to the bottom of it, though Carl's comments this year about my relationship with my own mom did resonate pretty strongly.
I feel fairly good about my own mothering--my kids are all wonderful. They're not perfect, and there are some things I worry about for them that keep me up at night, and heaven knows I've made mistakes, but for the most part, I don't think I've screwed them up too badly.
There's the social and media focus on Mother's Day, which always gets to me. The moms "they" admire are so different from me that we might as well be separate species. I'm not a single mom; I don't work three jobs and still volunteer to make cookies for the entire school; I don't coach soccer; I don't even keep track of how many minutes the kids spend doing things. So there's that. What I do for my family seems so ordinary, and definitely not something that requires recognition. It feels like rewarding someone for getting dressed in the morning.
Probably the problem is that there's so much emphasis on everyone idolizing their own moms. And I just don't. My mom isn't horrible, but... Okay, here's the story: my parents were divorced when I was 14 or 15. I didn't see my dad again until my high school graduation, and didn't see my brother for two years, and then saw him occasionally in the hallways at school. I lived with my mom, but I never saw her either--she worked nights, and when she wasn't at work, she was at her friend's house. Mostly our only interaction was her complaining about me being a slob. Fast-forward to the early 1990s, and two years when we lived within a two-hour drive. When we lived that close to Carl's mom, she expected a visit at least twice a month. With my mom, more often than not, she'd say she was busy when I asked if we could visit. In those two years, we visited maybe half a dozen times. So I just don't idolize my mom. And when people say their mom was abusive/alcoholic/workaholic/whatever, but they always knew she loved them, well, I feel like I'm wrong, wrong, wrong for not going all weepy and nostalgic thinking about my mom.
And then, of course, there's the voice in my head that says "get over it already," and that argument probably causes the meltdown. Sorry for the whining. It's a once-a-year thing, thank goodness.
- Anyway, Mother's Day we went to Carl's mom's. I got a toaster (argh!! I know I've said I like getting practical things as gifts, but not something I'd have bought anyway), sundress, and an orchid plant from Carl, and a John Oliver DVD from Camden which is LOL-funny. When Curran arrived later in the week, he brought the present from himself and Dagny--a photo album they'd made from our drawer-o'-photos and from digital pix they had, and a framed photo of the two of them and their dogs.
Are they not adorable?? Dagny even wrote amusing captions for most of the pictures in the album. I get teary-eyed whenever I think about it.
- Curran's back for the summer from college. It's really nice having him home again. He and Camden are getting along really well--better than they did before. I think it's because they both have their own lives now. Curran's spent a few days taking the train to Kaiserslautern to visit his girlfriend, who's also home from college for the summer. I haven't met her in person yet, but I've chatted with her online and briefly on the phone. So far, so good.
- Carl turned 50 this year. He was not very amused. It's easy to see where Dagny gets her drama-queen tendencies. So we kept the celebration low-key: dinner at home (rouladen--his request) and raspberry jello cake (his favorite). We did do dinner out with his mom the next day.
On his birthday, he enlisted the boys' help and put a goldfish pond in the back yard. Not my idea of celebrating, but it was something he's been talking about for a while, and it provided opportunities for male bonding, so that's good.
I did have to smack him, though, when he told his mom he probably only had 20 years left. She’s 71.
- Just to add to his dismay over turning 50, the foot problems he's been having since last summer came to a head, and he had to have his first profile (doctor's excuse) for missing a PT test in his 26 years in the Army. Really demoralizing for someone who's prided himself on always doing well on the PT tests. Even worse, he's got a skin cancer under his eye that he'll have to have removed. Appointments for both are scheduled for next month.
- Since I'm on the subject of Carl, I have to mention Swine Flu. It came up when Carl’s boss and half his office was away on an exercise. For two weeks, Carl didn’t get home until 8 p.m. at the earliest. Video conferences with Pentagon bigshots, etc. He was actually having fun along with the stress–pandemic influenza is his baby--he wrote the USAREUR (USArmy EURope) manual, so this was putting his work into action. Unfortunately, bureaucracy doesn't stop for little things like international health emergencies, and not only did he have all his own usual meetings and paperwork, he also had his boss's meetings and paperwork, and in addition had extra tasks as part of the exercise the rest of the office was doing. It would have been easier to have him gone for two weeks, seriously.
- Last weekend, Camden went to the 8th grade dance. He looked very handsome: . Here's Carl tying the tie for him: & . Camden says he danced, but he's been very close-mouthed about the details.
- Wednesday was Camden's band concert. It was much nicer than the last one, although, sadly, not up to par with his previous school's band. This is a smaller school, and I think the other school's band director was better at motivating the kids and keeping them interested, especially with more interesting/modern music. But this time there was a better mix between solos, small groups, and the entire band--the last concert, there were more pieces played as solos than as a band, and the soloists didn't always actually, you know, practice.
Also cool: the jazz band played two numbers. I've got pictures and a couple of videos, but the computer isn't letting me upload them for some reason. If I get them uploaded later, I'll edit and add them.
- Other than that--we've been spending a lot of time with the in-laws: first Mother's Day, then Curran arriving (for which we went to our favorite ice cream place in Erbach!!), then Carl's birthday. Also on Carl's birthday weekend, we went to his brother's house. Mike (Carl's brother) has a big pond in his yard, and had several goldfish he'd promised to Carl. It was only supposed to take an hour or two, but Mike's pond is really deep, and the goldfish kept hiding, so he had to drain about two-thirds of it to get to them.
- Well, that's probably enough for this week. Hopefully it didn't put you to sleep. More next week, maybe--Curran's birthday is on Thursday; we should have some more pix.
Categories: WeekendUpdate, AboutMe