The town my grandma, mom and dad live in used to be home. I was born there, it was the town we always went back to when my mom was between marriages, half of my school-ages years were spent there, and after my own failed first marriage, I went running back home as well. I haven't lived there now for almost 9 years, but on Friday night when we pulled into town, it still felt like going home. There are a lot of mixed emotions there; a lot of really great memories, an equal or greater number of bad ones, and the combination is always strange to me.
Strange, too, is how even after 9 years of being gone, people still know and remember me, my children, and it is very disconcerting to have people walk up to me and start conversing as if I just saw them yesterday. Better than half the time, I have no idea who they are; I usually recognize faces, at least, but rarely names. This is probably in part due to the fact that I did all of my heavy drinking there-some memories of that time are simply non-existent. I mean, one time I was at a party-this was after I got sober-with my mom and some man came up to me all sorts of mad; I apparently got into an argument with him and slapped him one night at the bar. I have no memory of this incident-none. I vaguely remembered the guy (and silently thanked the good lord that I had actually had sex with this person because eeeeeewwww!), vaguely remembered the night to which he was referring, but have no recollection at all of slapping him (though for the record, even sober it wasn't but 20 minutes before I felt like slapping him again just because he was THAT annoying, so I am sure he deserved it), so I don't know how many of the people I see when I go back home have similar stories about me, stories that I just don't remember. Then there are those who changed your diapers, changed your kids' diapers, left town and moved back, or never left. There are those who know your parents, your grandparents, your sisters, and of course they all have to ask about everyone; no matter that I am now approaching forty, they really want to know if I still like cherry suckers and would I like to take a little something out to the kids. Those questions are the harmless ones; then there are those who are nosy, interfering busybodies who just want to stick the knife in while smiling sweetly all the while. These are the ones who oh-so-innocently ask things like, "Oh, you're still not married? And you have a two year old?" or "You look a lot better than you did last time I saw you, have you lost some weight?" I don't know, though; it didn't seem to bother me as much as it used to, because frankly, none of these people are even a blip on the radar in my "real" life. I didn't care for most of them when I did live there, so it doesn't really matter how many snarky little comments they make. Mostly it made me laugh.
Anyway, the weekend was really good. It was lovely to stay with my grandma; she adores all of us, of course, but especially the kids, and all four of them behaved beautifully. There were a few uncomfortable moments when my mom was being really mean to her "gentleman friend," Joe; I remember that kind of shit from the many times mom was married, and I always feel really awkward and embarrassed. Joe, however, is far too mellow (in my opinion) and just kind of lets things roll off his back. I guess he has to, or he wouldn't be able to tolerate my mom, so he gets major bonus points for not totally walking out on her. If it were me, and she was talking to me the way she did him, I would have gotten up and walked out.
My dad was good; we went to his house and visited before going out to lunch on Sunday, and he was thrilled to see all of the kids; he even willingly hugged Owen, which is really unusual in that he doesn't really "like" toddlers much. Once they get around age 5 or 6, he likes them, but in the past he has never had much to do with the kids when they were little; maybe he, too, is mellowing. It helped that all the kids were in their best behavior, though. Since there are so many of us, we had to take two cars to lunch, so Dad very proudly took two of them for a spin in his Jag; hilarious, really. Sam loved the car, so after lunch dad offered to give him a ride to grandma's house, which Sam thought was the best.
All in all, it was good to go, and I am glad I did. I wouldn't lie and say I got a lot of sleep-we stayed up Friday and Saturday WAY too late playing Pinochle-but I didn't have to cook or do laundry or clean or any of that stuff. Therefore, I feel more rested, although of course am still coughing like mad. Steve was actually thoughtful when we got home as well; I was in the midst of making dinner when he got there ( I had to chuckle a little; he missed us!), so without being asked he bathed Owen and got him ready for bed, and even listened to Sam practice the violin. Small things, for sure, but please keep in mind that Steve is not generally a thoughtful type of person, so I notice those little things.
And now it is Monday, and another busy week is in front of me. However, I am really, really glad that we were able to have a good, fairly restful weekend. I feel much more equipped to look at the week ahead and not just feel tired and discouraged. A day at a time, right?