My first annual cocktail and friends gathering on Christmas Eve went swimmingly. Child had a ball with several other children running through our house; I had a good time visiting with old and new friends, and a couple I've not seen in years. The last guest left before 1130pm. The clock read 2:00 am when I finally put myself to bed.
Christmas morning, small but cozy, was very good in our new home. We headed over to my parents where the ambiance was slighty warmer than a butcher's walk-in refridgerator but not much. Not much at all.
Let me preface this by saying everyone was fine toward Child as one might have hoped. My mother was cold and barely returned my hug. She criticized my sneakers and something else equally insignificant (I forget what) a couple times in front of the rest of the family and Child. You’d think after 44 years I’d know how to just let it go, but it still hurts - whether it shows or not - so I don’t know who to be more annoyed with myself or my mother.
No one asked about our party, but they freely talked about their dinner. My sister was professionally polite and kept her distance, as did my brother in law. My father was OK, more “normal” than any of them. It was difficult for me to be there after Child’s father came for her. So I packed up our stuff, babysat their turkey breast while it cooked; had one conversation with my mother strictly about the recent nonsense with Child’s father, and when the turkey was done I left. They didn’t ask me what I was doing or to stay and spend the afternoon. The differences in gifts were obvious, too. I tried not to notice. But my mother has always ‘rewarded’ those who fall in line, keep her happy, don’t embarrass her… you get the picture. I guess you could say I’m officially “out of line” -- hooray for that! LOL
Part of me wants to ask my sister at some point, exactly what her motives were to tell my father where I was on Thanksgiving - especially since I'd said, "they don't know and I'd prefer not to tell them..."; what did she hope to gain or accomplish by sharing that information? Part of me wants to know why she chose adult- tattling when I have kept all of her secrets anytime she has asked. There weren’t many but I kept them nonetheless. I was prepared to experience disappointment but not from all three of them, the least of which my sister. I am surprised she has taken their stance… or rather, our mother's stance… then again, maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised: they're related.
I was happy to pull out of the driveway and be going home. Spent Christmas dinner with my friend and her sons. It was nice, relaxed and fun. I was in bed by nine and fast asleep shortly thereafter.
This morning I realized so much of my discomfort is the conflict between keeping people (read: my mother) happy and not angry versus making me happy. Even if it's uncomfortable (which it is) my goal is to keep going in the direction I've set out upon and to live my live by my standards. Those include not subjecting myself or my child to her drunken holiday behavior or any other nonsense that doesn't fit into my life - including my own.
I believe this will get easier as time goes by. Maybe they'll adjust, maybe not, but I'm not going to compromise who I am or what I want any further.