The plane ride home was as uneventful as it gets. Pretty much par for us. Ella got herself a case of the “trots” (as Stephen used to call it…he was such an old fart like that…he’d also peek through the blinds at the neighbors and would probably have called Homeland Security a few times if I would have let him). Back to Ella and her poos….she woke from a nap on the plane in horrors because we were about to land and she had to go potty. Turned out, she had dribbled poo a bit so the princess panties ended up in the garbage. It happened again on the second flight so she ended up with 2 choices: go commando or wear your sister’s diaper. She chose option 2. But she made me fasten it so she could step in like a pullup. I was amused. Not at the poop. That was actually quite horrifying. And I hated that we had to leave behind 2 unders.
One other thing that got left behind was my sweet baby, Amelia. I got left with a holy terror who is yet unnamed. I don’t know who this child is but I want my baby back! This kid is demanding, whiney, nurses a dozen times a day, naughty, throws food on the floor instead of eating it, hits her sister, refuses a bath and runs from the vaccuum. And the bawling. Oh heavens, the bawling. All day long. Somebody call missing persons and check Mexico. They might have run off with her.
FIL and stepMIL picked and bickered at each other the whole time we were there. Which was weird. I have never seen them do that. My parents, yes, but not his. StepMIL was obsessive and controlling and said kind of hurtful things. She picked at FIL and criticized what he was doing, how he was driving, his plans for the day, etc. FIL was quiet. He would give me these sideways glances when she’d start in on him. And I’d smile at him to show that I picked up on it too. But they’ve never done that in front of me before. And maybe it’s always been there but I didn’t have to directly deal with it because they aren’t my parents. But I don’t think so.
When Will died, there were lots of our friends and Stephen’s mom who all thought our marriage was in trouble. It wasn’t, for the record. Apparently, when you lose a child there is a very high divorce rate. I didn’t know that. For us, it was less stressful on the marriage itself than when he was sick. At least after he died, we could sleep and we could talk about starting over. We went to work, bought furniture that was inappropriate for parents to buy (cream colored microfiber…my girls are systematically destroying it causing me to look into a slipcover of some sort), we traveled. And I got pregnant with Ella and didn’t know it for 9 weeks. But our marriage never was in trouble.
But I wonder about FIL. I think that he and I are struggling with the same demons and the same feelings of faith that has been shattered. The same thoughts of betrayal. And he’s dealing with things the way I do sometimes which is just wanting to be selfish and not being able to let go and be completely selfish. That doesn’t make any sense. But that’s how I feel and that’s what I got from talking to him. So, stepMIL feels like she needs to pick up the slack, make decisions, obsess, console, cajole, pray, sing, do a little dance, and she absolutely, positively must be right.
We all do that as moms and women. We must be right. Even when we are wrong. It’s hard to admit that. Even when we are wrong, we must be right. So we nag and pick. We obsess. We stay awake too late. We clean when we should be playing. We play when we should be listening. We listen when we should talk. We talk instead of crying. We cry instead of confronting. We confront when we feel threatened and wrong.
So I guess I got what I wanted after all. I get to be right all the time. I also get to be wrong all the time which is just as comforting and scary.
There are so many contradictions going on and maybe it’s just my head. Maybe I’m still in the clouds somewhere with a sleeping baby on my lap. Maybe I’m watching the gulf waves or walking in the breeze at dusk. Maybe I’m trying to fall asleep with the windows open but not sleeping because I’m savoring the wind on my toes. Maybe I’m somewhere else.
But at least I get to be right. Right?