June 20, 2011

A visit from mommy and daddy dearest

I haven’t seen mommy and daddy dearest for 4 ½ years and about 2 weeks ago I received a call from daddy dearest he said that they were coming out for mommy dearests 50th class reunion, to see her brothers and sister and they wanted to fit us in for a visit on Sunday before they leave on Monday. “Fit us in” huh…..that’s nice.   I told him that I would make sure the kids were home and that I do hope they keep their word and not disappoint their grandkids because they have promised visits before and they have choose other destinations.

So yesterday, the Mister, his kids , my kids and I met up with mommy and daddy dearest at a local restaurant.  The initial meet and greet was as uncomfortable as a gyno appt. My mother gave her usual fake “I’m happy to see you” hug…..which was icy and totally unnecessary and my father looked uninterested in the whole ordeal. He was probably just counting down to the next time he lights up a cigarette. My daughter and the Mister were the ones mainly conversing with them and when I would ask a question I received a one sentence answer. The mister later told me that you could cut the tension with a knife and that my mom had difficulty even trying to talk to me and he even agreed with me about daddy dearest…….he was just totally disconnected.

After lunch my kids and I joined mommy and daddy dearest at the mall and I couldn’t have planned what happened next any better. There by the shoes was my boss and I have never been this happy and relieved to see her. I approached her and introduced my parents…..now she’s heard pretty much the horror stories regarding them and recent events and without batting an eye she said “do you know how fabulous your daughter is?”….long pause turns to awkward pause…..finally my mom answers “yes we do”, then my boss turns to daddy dearest and says “you’re the retired police officer?”….he told her yes….then without skipping a beat she says “now I see where she gets her great work ethic!”. Minutes later  I said good bye to my boss and was impressed by her stellar performance all day!!  As the mall experience continued, daddy dearest couldn’t stop asking what we were here to get and I just told him my son had a gift card to get some clothes. ….we were only there for 30 minutes and headed out of the mall to another store where mommy dearest wanted to buy my daughter and I something…..daddy dearest decided to park under some shade, smoke and take a nap……nice for trying to bond with his family who he never sees.

When the shopping ended we headed out to our cars. They took pictures with their grandkids….and then we stood with that awkward silence, sometimes with a comment here or there for awhile. Finally we said good bye and the kids and I were headed home. The kids expressed to me that they felt a little awkward with the whole visit and really didn’t have much to say to them.  I told them that it was ok and it’s perfectly normal to feel disconnected to them because they don’t make it a point to be part of their lives.

As I look back at the visit I just remember the times my son would reach for my hand or hug me  in front of them and when my daughter would put her arm around me or joke  with me.  The way I interacted with my children is opposite of how things were like with me growing up and I wonder if mommy and daddy dearest noticed the love that my children and I have for each other. The hugs weren’t fake, the laughter wasn’t forced……….it was how it should have been for me growing up, but consciously I stopped the cycle and work hard to not make the same mistakes they did.