Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Day!

Mother's Day, 2012! What a wonderful day it has been too!

There have often been times, over the years, that for whatever reasons I didn't look forward to celebrating Mother's Day, didn't enjoy or appreciate any of the sentiment about the day at all at times too. Why? I really don't remember the reasons why now but suffice it to say it frequently didn't rank all that high on my list of favorite holidays.

The only other "holiday" that I was never keen on at all -and still am not - is Valentine's Day and I suppose considering all the rather negative circumstances of my life over the years, that one is pretty self-explanatory as to why I don't like it AT. ALL!

But anyway, back to today and life's realities.

I had initially thought perhaps we -my kids and I, and the grandchildren -could celebrate Mother's Day a day ahead of schedule -like yesterday. I had purchased a turkey a while back and had it in the freezer for just such an occasion for openers. That, plus Sundays are really difficult for us to have a nice family dinner because my son generally has to leave early Sunday evening (or late afternoon) to start out towards Pittsburgh and begin his runs for the week ahead whereas on Saturday, we don't run into a problem with him. Then, it's a problem with my older daughter and her work schedule as she works midnight shift, also works a whole lot of overtime too quite often, so for her to be able to be here, awake and able to enjoy a family dinner, that usually means she has to have off Friday and Saturday nights or at least Saturday night.

Well, this week, I had asked her on Tuesday if she was working this weekend and she said she was supposed to be off Saturday night BUT she might have to work after all. So I asked her to please let me know by Thursday, the latest, if she and Alex (the grandson) would be able to come up for dinner Saturday as I needed to know so I could get the old turkey out and thaw it in time to cook it properly.

Well, I didn't hear anything until Saturday, around 2 p.m., that she and Alex were planning to be here for Sunday dinner so I told Mandy then to get the turkey out and we'd have to start the thawing then and hope it got unthawed fully so I could cook it today.

Then, Mandy informed me she had set a time for dinner today at 2:30 and I was kind of wigging out about that because sheesh, church is from 11 a.m. till shortly after noon and by the time I would get home, get the other stuff ready by 2:30 for us to eat, well that was going to be a bit of a stiff request, for sure.

Oh well. I should be accustomed to that by now I guess! Seems that's the way things tend to run, frequently, around here -a bit hectic for a while and then, it could be several days of quiet, nothingness, ya know and all of a sudden, boom! We're back to hectic again!

But as it turned out, I did manage with just a little help from Mandy who peeled the potatoes and mashed them, that we had a fair-to-middling decent turkey dinner today! My son and his girlfriend and her twin sons, older daughter and the eldest grandson, plus of course, Mandy and her two hooligans and a friend of the family and we had some good company to munch on the old turkey today!

As frequently happens with my kids and the grandkids, it can get to be a bit of a free-for-all sometimes, with wise cracks flying about -often they are really sarcastic too -but that's the way we roll, you could say. After a bit of a misunderstanding over one comment -I won't delve into that one though -things did get back on track and the mood went back to being good-humored again.

Now, the surprise of the day though was when the step-granddaughter and her boyfriend showed up. When Mandy and her sometime to be ex-husband (if he EVER gets around to signing ALL the papers) separated two years ago, the step-granddaughter had just graduated from high school and decided she didn't want to live here if her dad wasn't living here too so, she moved out and back in with her biological mother. Suffice it to say, it's been a pretty rough two years on her as the mother sometimes is a bit flighty -that's putting it fairly nicely -and the kid lived with her dad for a couple months as well as she and her former boyfriend also tried having an apartment together for a while too but then, that fell apart as well.

But, she has gradually been coming around to Mandy, even to me as well, and has grown! Boy, has she ever grown but not in a way that is visible to the outside world as she looks the same as ever. I'm referring more to growth as in maturity -an area which I had worried virtually constantly about how this kid would ever survive in the real world because her attitude two years ago and prior to that was really one that -for lack of a better term -sucked!

She had to work today so didn't get here till about 4 p.m. along with her current boyfriend, who it turns out is the son of a lady I worked with over 24 years ago! I remember when his Mom and Dad got married and before he was born. Amazing -and you all of course know how much I dearly love the "small world" kind of stuff too, don't you now?

They both helped themselves to whatever we'd had for dinner, heated it in the microwave and sat down to eat and chat with the rest of us.

When she came in though, she handed Mandy a very pretty bouquet of flowers and an envelope, telling her not to open and read it around everyone else as she might be better off reading it in private.

The time flew by and the friendly atmosphere and good humor stayed very stable throughout the time they were here. After they left though - a little while later -Mandy came and handed me the envelope.

I'd just been online, reading some Facebook posts and there was one that a lady I "know" but I've never met -although she only lives about 5 miles from me -(but I know her husband because he and my ex-husband had been fairly good friends) anyway, she had posted about listening to the song "You and Me Against The World, by Helen Reddy and had posted the first couple of lines to that song.

Well, as it turns out you see, that singer is one of my absolute favorites and that song just happens to be a particular favorite of mine and older daughter's too! And it did what hearing or reading the lyrics to that song always does to me, it brought me to tears as it makes me think of my life, my relationships with my Mom as well as my relationships with older daughter in particular but also, with my two other children.

So there I was, having just wiped the tears from my eyes from reading the lyrics to that song, and reading this letter from the step-granddaughter had me tearing up all over again!

She had taken the time to write this to explain to Mandy how she'd felt when Mandy and her Dad first began dating, when they married and she and he moved in here with me and how things were too, in her mind, when Maya and Kurtis came along. How she hated having chores to do, how she thought we were hell-bent on making her life miserable and how, as a teenager, she had chosen to become pretty rebellious! Imagine that!!!

But ultimately, she'd come to realize what our joint goals had been all along for her was to help her to learn to be able to stand on her own two feet someday! And she'd thanked Mandy for all she's done for her and even thanked me and the other two kids for things we taught her, stating for Mandy to tell me that she even knows all her meats today! When I read that part of the letter, I howled laughing!

You see, this kid, frequently used to drive me absolutely bonkers when she would come out to the kitchen, lift the lid on a kettle or open the oven to see what was cooking and then, ask me what kind of meat it was that we would be having. She couldn't get the hang of telling the difference between something with ground beef or roast beef, or pork chops, poultry or fish! And that used to just drive me absolutely bonkers! (Yeah, I have a low tolerance level for some things, ya know!)

She had finished the letter off by wishing Mandy -and also me (even) a Happy Mother's Day and then added as a post script that she was wanting me to make "panakaka" (A favorite Swedish dish I make now and then) sometime and have her for supper then!

No problem!

When she left, she made sure to give hugs around to everyone here and they weren't what older daughter would refer to as "Air" hugs either but rather, genuine, tightly held, more like bear hugs!

And you know what?

Her visit today and especially that letter, totally made my day complete!

Here's hoping if you and yours were celebrating Mother's Day that you had as good a day doing that as I did!

Couldn't possibly have been better!


Mrs4444 said...

I'm very happy for you, Jeni. My Mothers Day was really nice, too :) Have a great week.

Linda said...

Sounds to me like you ended up having quite the fine Mother's Day after all in spite of having to pull dinner together at more or less the last moment.

Me ... I worked in dispatch for 16 hours but all things considered, it wasn't a bad day. I've had worse!

bill lisleman said...

I gather you and Mrs. 4444 (you probably call her Barb) are blog buddies because I found your blog on her map she sent to her list. I've found many great bloggers from Barb (oh I forgot Mrs. 4444). That was a great story, I sure hope your granddaughter keeps those good ideas/thoughts in mind as she grows. Happy Mother's Day

Dianne said...

sounds like she's done some growing and has learned a bit about appreciation and family

good for her
and good for you :)

I spent most of the day with Hope
we planted some flowers
and played in the yard
then we read a bit
and finally we watched all her Tom and Jerry DVDs

Maggie May said...

I'm glad it all seems to have gone so well.
We have Mother's Day much earlier in England. Seems ages ago now.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

terri said...

I'm so glad that you had such a wonderful, happy day. I remember you sometimes writing about the problems of living with a teenaged step-granddaughter and how frustrated that could be at times. You must have done something right because she seems to have come around pretty quickly. She's clearly grown into a wonderful young woman. What a gift that she told Mandy and you how grateful she is.