Playing nice.

There is a skunk dying outside MILs front door. 50 acres of prime Missouri farmland and the thing (presumably hit by a car from the looks of it) feels the need to die right here. The whole entryway smells of skunk. Ella is beside herself. She wants so very much to play outside but she won’t even go near the door and wants Grandpa Johnny to take care of the sick skunk. I wish there were some kind of symbolism to be had here. There must be something in literature or folklore about a skunk dying on your doorstep.

Or maybe I’m thinking too hard again.

I just about checked myself into a hotel last night. Ella felt the need, in her sleep, to explore every square inch of the queen size air mattress that is the guest bed. And I was busy protecting Amelia from her sister. And then the dog would bark in her sleep. And the skunk was busy being stinky. And the girls were up before 7. They were a fun pair today.

I gave MIL the family pics today. The ones we had taken on Memorial Day right after diagnosis and then the ones we had taken in November at my sister’s house. She was looking at the pics of the 4 of us and got all veclempt. Hands clutching the invisible pearls.

“I just don’t know how you do it. I think of you every day.”

My response (not well thought out): “I don’t know how I do it either. I really don’t. The whole thing is still fucking unbelievable.” (Sidenote: The first time MIL has heard me swear. Which is saying something for my self restraint around her because I can cuss a blue streak and think nothing of it. One of the first 2-word sentences Ella ever said was “Bitch, Please” which came out “Botch Peas” but whatever. She got the point across. I clean it up around the kids and her but that’s about it.)

Anyway. That’s as far as we have ever gone discussing what happened. I know it happened to her too but she had 32 years and I had 7. What she chose to do with hers was her business. (Really long, sorted family history inserted here. It’s not pretty) I’m trying to be friends. I’m trying to be a daughter instead of a son. She’s trying to buy my love. She parades my kids around to the step-families who paw all over them. She loves us. She wants us around more often. She never second guesses my parenting or family decisions (other than medical). I’m playing nice. I’m trying to keep things from getting weird. Stephen only accused me once of being weird and closed in around his mom and that was in Rochester. I promised him that I would not be weird. For his sake. That was the *last* thing he needed to worry about.

Ella discovered Club Libby Lu today. This? Right here? Is why I have girls. It was really fun to be all girly and sparkly for a while. She’s really too little for all of that hype. It’s a tweener kind of place. But she is in love with all things that glitter so she had a ball. And MIL dropped I don’t know how much cashola on her there. Something I never would have done. But now I have to regulate the grape lipgloss or she eats it. She is cutie singing “Row, row, row your boat” into the glittery microphone. I’m so not glittery and sparkley but if my kids are into that, I can play along. It was really fun to see her excited about something that didn’t have a monkey on it.

All in all, not too bad so far. I do wish that I only had one set of ILs. I feel bad for my own family. They kind of get the shaft because I feel the need to take care of my other family.

I wonder if this is how polygamy feels.

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