My son is back in the United States to live as of earlier this month, and is planning to come home next week for Thanksgiving. Not only that, but his girlfriend, who is from Venezuela and whom he met in London, is also now in the US after a promotion on her job, and they are both living in the same city. She and her three year old son will be coming here for Thanksgiving, too.
When I say “here”, I mean here to the city where I live. The three of them will be staying at my ex-husband’s house, which is bigger and has a room already set up for grandkid visits. That means they will be eating Thanksgiving dinner with his father, and we won’t see him until the next day.
The grown up part of me understands all this. Although we could certainly put all three of them up if need be, they will be more comfortable at his dad’s house. His stepmother has grown children, grandchildren, and extended family in the area, and it will be much easier for them all to see Neal and his friends at Thanksgiving dinner than to make separate visits.
The grown up part of me also feels for M, the girlfriend. If this relationship is as serious as it is beginning to seem, she may be about to acquire not just one, but two mothers-in-law. She doesn’t need to be the rope in a tug of war between us. As I keep reminding myself, this is not about me.
The not-so grown-up part of me, however, has thrown herself on the floor in a sobbing fit. “It’s not fair!” she screams. “I’m the one who brought him up. His stepfather is the one who drove a borrowed truck in the rain to get sand for a science project and carted the 5 foot in diameter model of Jupiter to school for another science assignment. I’m the nice parent, the one who didn’t beat the other one up.”
Okay, I think she is feeling a little better now. I keep feeding her ice cream, that seems to help.
Besides, the very footloose and fancy free lifestyle that makes John and me less suited for hosting big family dinners at holidays is going to be an asset in another situation. Sooner or later, M isn’t going to want to pack up a child and travel at Thanksgiving or Christmas. The parents who have kids and grandkids living nearby are going to have a conflict over whether to stay here or go and visit. Two people who have only themselves to consider, on the other hand, can easily show up at the door (after having secured a nearby hotel room) with lots of grandbaby presents. I don’t say this in a mean way. I just mean circumstances change.
In the meantime, baby Coleslaw brat, have another fudgesicle. It will make you feel better.