Thankful and Grateful: Outting With My Parents

Yesterday morning I woke up extremely tired, I had foolishly stayed up late the night before and watched Jane Eyre. I’m a sucker for period romantic dramas (North and South, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice the 6 hour A& E version please!). This interpretation of Jane Eyre wasn’t bad actually, and I enjoyed all the bits and bobs that made it period.

Any who, crinoline aside, I woke up like a slug beast and oozed shakily down the stairs. After getting breakfast together and organizing a trash removal of immense proportion (Pantry exploration of overdue expiration dates), I puttered around picking up various barnyard animals while CDubs shrieked in glee. He was un-putting away everything I picked up. Ah toddlers.

Soon enough, I got him to take his mid morning nap, and I was able to play some Destiny before my parents arrived.

Despite how things were in the past, as adults, we children get along much better with our parents; from a distance. They do perfectly lovely things for us, and I know that every time they visit it builds a stronger present. My dad keeps on saying he wants to take care of his children. My mother’s mind is going off a bit, in the normal sense (for once), she seems even more absent-minded. She did well with CDubs. There were no scenes or hysterics that day, thank goodness.

As for poor CDubs, there was no fun to be had this trip. He had plenty to “Ooo” at and ask what “dis?” was, but nowhere to roam and stretch his baby legs. He also got dinner quite late, which I am ashamed to say, we lost track of time while we were out. All of this was remedied once we got home. We zapped him some mashed potatoes and chicken with carrots and we let him stay up late running and being chased about by the mommy monster. The shrieks lasted well into 9:30PM. I decided, he was rubbing his eyes too much for my liking. That and I couldn’t chase him much longer. So off to bed he went, and he only played in his crib a little, before literally hitting the mattress and falling asleep.

As for us adults, my father has cancer. He’s put on quite a bit of weight and his knees are bothering him. I decided it would be best if we stayed as close to my home as possible, so resting could happen. As you may know from my Vlog post, my parents wanted to visit to see CDubs and to buy my husband and I enough clothing for the school year. This is completely generous and not at all asked for, but greatly appreciated. This is the second year this happened, I think because we are going through tough times and we have our little one. As my father said to me: “CDubs is your son, and I fully expect you to take care of him. You are my daughter, and I will always try to take care of you.” Which was unexpectedly feeling coming from my stoic and very English father (who consequently is more Native American (Osage) than English).

I think having a grandson has made him soft. Which is altogether wonderful.

So in order to make this trip more pleasant for him, I decided to pre-shop for my part of the wardrobe buying. I went to our local Cato’s and picked out a great deal of clothing. My thought was, I would show him everything that fit, that I liked, and he would pick what he thought I should get. My father is very fashionably minded, so I knew that he would have opinions on what he was buying me.  I was prepared to put back anything he didn’t like.

No one gave me a budget for this trip, I guesstimated I would spend around $300 for the clothing. This seemed expensive enough to me, and I knew he would insist on getting everything I needed, so spending $100 wouldn’t cut it. I also think, because he saved up for this, if I didn’t make good choices, I would offend him. I know it  sounds silly, offending someone for not spending money.

My father was happily surprised when we arrived at the store and I had already picked out about 13 pieces. He actually approved all of them, to my surprise, and he said that I could have them all. Then biggest surprise of them all, he had me go pick out jewelry! My father used to make jewelry when I was young, so he had lots of opinions on that score. I ended up with some pieces I wouldn’t really have gotten normally, and I got a nice boost to what little professional jewelry I own. When all is said and done, I had gone over just a bit of I had originally planned to spend. We happened to be checking out on the day of huge jewelry sale. That in itself helped tremendously. So all in all I made out like a bandit!

The car repairman then spoke with my husband over the phone, and informed us the car would be ready by 4:30PM that day. This was great news because we thought we would spend about $200 on the rental and gas (and car rental insurance). Now, we would pay $60. Lovely difference!

This however, changed our shopping plans and diverted us to Aberdeen (USA, not the real Aberdeen!). We drove to Kohl’s to get my husband his part of the wardrobe shopping. Ten minutes in, we get the call the car is done! So off he goes to pay for the repairs (he will pick it up later with my mother’s help) while I am trying to pick out man underwear and socks.

He returns and then also picks out extra clothes expecting something to be vetoed! 14 dress shirts people. 2 suit coats, pants, shoes, belts…. Nothing was vetoed. His order ended up being 3X’s the price of mine! I was happy to put things back, Ry begged to also. My father turned to him and said,  “Are you going to be able to purchase these things yourself? Do you need these things?”

So it was purchased. My father, CDubs and I walked to a frozen yogurt shop where he bought drinks and I purchase a small vanilla and graham cracker yogurt for CDubs. He happily devoured the crackers and part of the yogurt. Ry and my mother went to turn in the rental car and pick up our repaired and inspected car.

We had spent quite enough of my parents money, in fact, we went over budget (but was assured it wasn’t too much). I decided we really must be getting home and CDubs helped sell it by being a human parkour baby.

We went home and my husband and mother wrote out new directions to get them home from here. They frequently get lost on the way, sometimes ending up in a bordering state. I think he got everything straightened out though.

We are very blessed to be starting out our school year properly clothed. It feels good when you can work in things that fit. Considering I went up a size (I’m the biggest I’ve ever been and it’s entirely my fault, not the extra hormones. I’ve sat on my ass all summer.), I appreciate it. Truly I do.

I just don’t know how to impart to you how grateful we are and yet so conflicted I feel. The past keeps wiggling in the back of my mind. “It doesn’t make up for it. Nothing can make up for it!”

And I imagine a giant cricket bat and I beat the hell out of that thought. Logically, ones past cannot be made up for, it’s the past. We are all different people. And I can say, for it all, my parents are good people, trying very hard.

And I am blessed.

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