Thursday, October 18, 2012

Family Gatherings

My oldest son, Jeff got married recently and I am getting ready for a visit to my new apartment from he and his bride and her sweet daughter.  My son Patrick was over earlier and let me know that he knew about the dinner because Jeff called him and he will be here also!  I love having my whole family together.  We all love my son's wife and daughter.  They have never been to my new apartment so I am getting organised and finishing up the apartment for their visit.

Did I say I was excited?  I cannot wait!  I am determined to have everything in order.  Can I just say it has been since 2008 that my disorganization began. I have moved so many times over the course of that time.  Displaced from our home.  The home must be in order in order for there to be order I believe.  I am a person who needs order. The chaos and disorder do not suit me.  I am a boring person in that way.  I am a homey person.  I have not felt this settled in that whole time.  Can I say it feels good.  Having my whole family home will feel even better.  It is long overdue!

I do not understand people who can't wait for their children to leave.  My children were all unexpected except one.  I was told by a Doctor I couldn't have children because of an illness when I was a teenager.  Ha!  Never believe doctors!  I had my first son when I was 19.  From the instant that I held him in my arms I felt a connection to my sweet baby boy!  I will never forget that moment or that feeling.  He led me from one path to quite a different one to say the very least!

I am a single parent, I was married once, briefly, but not to the father of any of my children, but that is for another day and another time when we know each other better.  One of my sons was planned and his Dad has always been involved in our lives and a father to all of my sons.

I took my role as mom very seriously as I do take all of my responsibilities and no matter how old I get, how grown my little men get they will always be my dear sweet sons, I can still see their beautiful faces the first time I laid eyes on each and everyone of them.  They are not doctors or lawyers but they are good young men.  I am proud of each of them.  I have enjoyed watching them grow and evolve.

They, like me did not have standard childhoods and lives like "normal" children.  But these days what is normal.  I raised "the most functional/dysfunctional" family to the best of my abilities with the tools that I had available which were love and caring and home cooked meals, music, hikes and camping  and ocean and laughter and tears!  I know, as they do that life was not always ideal or easy.  When it was good it was very very good and when it was bad, it was never dull.

My son's wife, Lisa has not seen too many pictures of Jeff when he was younger.  I am excited because I recently brought home a whole bin of photos of the boys youth throughout the years from birth to teens and then some.  I am sure she will get a kick out of them.  I am looking forward to the day!

It will be nice to spend some family time with my son and his family.  We have been to a few cookouts at their home and I love their family dynamics.  I love my granddaughter.  I have always wanted a daughter and I had three boys.  Now that my son and Lisa are married I am an official Gramma!  It makes me smile and warms my heart!  Family really is everything!

Lisa's family is awesome.  Getting to meet and know them is so much fun.  Myself and my other two sons really feel welcome and a part of the family around them, it very nice.  I think that my son and his wife are really  a great match!  I expect they will have a long and happy life together!

Adapting to Jeff and the first experience of "empty nest" syndrome was extremely difficult.  Patrick did it gradually, without conversation, hanging out more at his Dad's until he took his T.V. and then he sat me down at the kitchen table and told me that Thomas was the man of the house now.  So funny to have son's to parent me.  That is family and Patrick is so my parent.

Some people misunderstand him.  He is so serious to the point of rudeness at times.  They do not understand that I am the safe haven where you can talk and express your feelings.  I always have been a good listener.  It made it easier not to share myself.

I have an policy where my children are encouraged to speak their minds.  I never really had anyone to talk to, really talk to and I did not want them to feel that way.  At times all a person needs to to is talk.  He at least was a regular visitor and we still saw him a few times a week and he phoned regularly. He still does unless he is "punishing" me.

Jeffrey on the other hand is more of the silent and independent type.  Involved with his own life we saw and heard from him less regularly.  I remember when he came to New Ashford to visit us for the first time at our "family home", Jeffrey was supposed to move with  us but chose to stay in Pittsfield with my mother to finish school as he was a senior, and then his life began.

Jeffrey was a big child and he was quite tall and slender at that time, about 6 feet tall and I don't know how many pounds, and Patrick and Thomas were 13 and 9 and always were smaller by far, well, they started fooling around in the living room and Pat and Tom put Jeffrey through the wall!  It was an older house and not standard sheet rock  but a different kind of thicker and stronger material, well they put the outline of Jeff in the wall!  It was so funny!  Most people would get mad but it wasn't too bad in reality.  It was the brotherly comradery which was so touching and heartwarming to me as a parent.

 One of the reasons it was so special was because a few years earlier my boys used to use a lot of energy wrestling and playing and seemingly indifferent as boys will be.  Not seeing the brotherly love -I lectured them about how they were brother's and they should have each other's backs and not fight each other all of the time.  I have a brother and I would have given my life for him - and still will if need be.  I don't have money or power or success but I will fight for my family.  No doubt about it.  I have and I will, always and forever., I digress though, my boys the oldest being 13 or so at the time (they are roughly 4 years apart) looked at me like I had three heads and said yeah, whatever, blah blah blah.

I should probably add at this point that my son's favorite game was to see how quick they could get me to blow my gasket.  I used to be very high strung and overly explosive.  With three boys constantly pushing my buttons, and I had a few it is no wonder  I am not completely grey or insane!  I would love to say that they have out grown that behaviour but it is too much fun apparently for one of my sons to overcome and the other to go along with!  We shall see if the same rings true of the third.  I am smiling at the thought!

I dread the day that Thomas departs.  I could invoke the rule that he is my youngest child and is obligated to take care of me.  My counselor Lydia, her mother was from a different day, as she was the youngest of a clan of children.  It seems funny but I think about it.  When I threaten to leave Thomas tells me to get a R.V. because he and my Dad are coming with me!  Now that would be a trip inside a trip inside a R.V.  Stranger things have happened.  I think there is a little gypsy in everyone.  The world is a big place out there and it is always nicer to have people with you.

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