After the Parties

My grandson had a wonderful first birthday party. Many friends and family came and he received a lot of fun toys and books. And he showered us all with smiles. He made a mess of his cake, which is a rite of passage, right? It was a good day.

His mom, my oldest daughter, was pleasant and respectful. We even engaged in a couple of good conversations. And I learned that she has been handed a whole lot more responsibility in her job, when she was already feeling overwhelmed. And my granddaughter is likely going to have to have surgery to remove her tonsils. Their insurance isn’t very good so they’re looking at more medical bills, on top of many they’ve already had to deal with. And my daughter has developed a kidney infection. Seems like there’s a lot of stress-inducing things in her life that are causing her enough emotional trouble that she’s gotten run down and sick. Does that explain what happened in early August? Maybe, but probably not.

At this point, I feel I’ve learned as much as I’m going to for now (maybe ever) about that dreadful night and it’s time to move on. She’s never going to explain her actions, she’s not going to apologize, and as much as she says she hates it when people act like nothing’s wrong, it seems that’s exactly what she wants to do. Perhaps she’s too embarrassed and just doesn’t know how to deal with her total breakdown or meltdown or whatever the hell anyone wants to call it.

I know, I know, I’ve been saying I need to let go and move on for weeks. The good news is I finally feel like I can.

The other big birthday—my youngest daughter’s twenty-first birthday—passed without drama. I am thrilled! We had a really nice birthday dinner celebration at our house with every chair at the table taken. The food was good and we had plenty of laughter. Maybe that was the champagne, yes, champagne! It was a time to celebrate. Not only did Brianna make it to this milestone, but so did I, with my mental capacities still intact.

I was thinking about all of this as I drove home from work tonight, looking at the trees taking on new colors for fall, the flowers going dormant. It’s the season of endings, when we tuck away all the fun of summer and we close up our yards and we prepare to live off the memories through the cold, bitter winter. It seems appropriate to be putting away the emotional stress with my oldest daughter and checking off the milestone with my youngest. It is autumn. Time to wrap myself in a blanket of comfort and sit by the fireplace and look at the pictures, and tell my version of “what I did this summer.”

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