Monday, December 2, 2013

Need for a Laugh Ends in Life Lesson

I needed to laugh.  I desperately wanted to laugh at things my children said or did but for various reasons, it didn't happen.  Either I found their comments so sarcastically rude and out of line or the holiday season took the toll on my heart.  I lost both my parents in 2013 and the reality of my loss comes in waves unexpectedly.  So I knew I wanted to laugh.   I needed to laugh, but I struggled finding things funny.

As husband and wife, we learned to handle our own parents in a way we felt comfortable and worked based on our personal relationship.   It evolves over time.  My husband's interactions with his parents differed from mine.  When we first married, it concerned me, but over time I accepted the fact that differences were okay and were meant to be.  If he was happy, I didn't need to stress out and worry about it, or did I?  His parents divorced so there were bound to be times that we would celebrate holidays separately.  Right?

I didn't worry about it and it back fired as my children blamed me on Thanksgiving for not including a grandparent.  It was my fault and I should have invited them.  I admit.  The hairs, no matter how small, on my back were on fire.  I was hot as a hornet as how could they blame me?  Why do I have to do everything?  Why can't my husband mention to me before two hours before dinner that he wants both his parents at dinner?  UGH!

I needed a laugh.  I needed to cry. I wanted to yell.   I needed something.  I admit my emotions were out of whack anyway as holidays were not going to be smooth sailing so I sat for a while in my bathroom and waited for the doorbell to ring.

Dinner was wonderful.  Family stories made me laugh.  The children enjoyed both their grandparents and they were the glue the family needed.  We shared stories that made us all smile and giggle about the people that sat around the table as well as my children shared memories of my parents from Grandpa squirting his ketchup too high and Grandma getting mad at him to Grandpa making music with his water glass.  Memories brought smiles and laughter to everyone, including me.

So my mom lessons came from my children.  Yes, I was falling into a habit of what we agreed in the past.  It worked so why change it, but it was a selfish perspective.  I hadn't thought full circle of my children.  I left that decision entirely up to my husband as I believed I had enough to take care of with dinner and household duties.  In the end, I cheated my children on a few occasions.  They definitely have a relationship with both grandparents, but there have been times I didn't invite both grandparents if my husband didn't make the call.  It's a shame.

I am lucky that my husband's parents get along and enjoy holiday dinners and family functions together.  Not all divorced families are so fortunate.  So this Thanksgiving, my children reminded me to put myself aside and think of others first.  Holidays aren't about making the perfect meal or having  the house perfectly decorated.  Holidays are about relationships and family. I am so thankful that I have my in laws and it reminded me that I love the family I do have even though my parents are no longer with me.  God blessed me with my husband's family and I am truly grateful.  


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