here i sit...alone in our family room sunday afternoon. it's a glorious sunday afternoon. i should be off skiing with the perfect family.....loving, smiling and enjoying one another on a beautiful mountain somewhere, all dressed in coordinated l.l.bean ski apparel, sharing cups of hot cocoa in the lodge and singing "up with people" music all the way home.....in harmony.
harmony was not exactly what we had going on in our house earlier today. one moment, biff and i were laughing together about a heavy metal u-tube video i had mistakenly put on my blog, and the next moment, our house was upside down, spinned around, by, our soon to be 15 year old, grace. that is, if she makes it to her birthday on the 27th.....or if we all make it til then. for quite some time now, our little lady, grace hates us. all of us....even the dogs. and for now, the cats seem safe. if i sound blase' as i write these words, it's not because i am......it's because i never quite know what it is that makes her hate me so much. sure, i'm a bit thinned skinned, i have feelings too! i think i've worked really hard to let our kids show their feelings, rather thatn squash them, only to show up at some later date.
but, after being hated, off and on, since the day after her 13th birthday, it's starting to get to me. when we try to talk, she hears things that i don't say. i think i speak rather clearly. i even think i'm kind of tuned in on how hard it is, being a teen in this world. it was hard enough in my time.
i also have many days lately, in the last few months, where our 13 year old, t.j., hates me. that kind of came creeping up on me and, one day, popped up at me like a jack in the box. just...POP....i hate you. he turned on me too.
oh sure, you say, that's normal. or, you may even think, in horror and pull back..."not my children!....i'm a good mother/father".....you may think, " oh, that's too bad, she just didn't get it right"......or,"oh, i'm so lucky, none of my kids have done that......they're nothing like that!"
i said all of that too! when i heard these stories from friends or friends of friends.....no one wants to admit how hard this stuff is. i think some parents seem to go through this phase unscathed.....i just don't know how they do it. it seems to get everyone off guard.....it just shows up.....some sooner and some later!
this is one of those times, when i say to biff, "maybe, if we had had more children, i mean lots and lots of children, they'd be so desperate for our attention, they wouldn't dare be so obvious or have the guts to tell us.".....too late for that.
when everyone is loving, sweet and fun, i think, "oh, thank God, it seems that all of our hard work, doing the best job we could, with our kids paid off....we can see the goodness."
and other times, like today....my husband and i, frustrated and exhausted, from being hated and rebuffed, we look at each other befuddled....what did we do wrong? how could they hate us so much...or...how could they hate each other so much.
and then, the wind changes. there comes a calm in the storm and we rock gently, even peacefully, on our boat. all four of us, basking in the sun, laughing and telling stories....just good times for us all.
and suddenly, like jaws, only we don't even hear the music warning us......dada..dada...dadada...dadadada....dada...dadadadadadadad...and THOSE GIANT TEETH APPEAR FROM under, the shark comes crashing into the boat and..............................................
and that's how motherhood feels to me. i want answers. i want someone to tell me it's all going to be o.k. and mean it....i don't want to be like the townspeople in the movie......and have no clue, because the authorities don't want them to know, they don't want to ruin their vacation spot with bad press......i want to know that we have done a good job....and giving our lives to these "babies" we birthed and have given love to everyday of their lives.....we give them some stuff too, but that doesn't even count to me...the stuff doesn't matter.....we just have worked everyday to do our best and be the best for them....really.
and still, today, maybe not tomorrow, they hate us. sometimes, they both hate us at the same time....which is kind of like those buy one get one free coupons. sometimes, inconveniently, they hate us one at a time. sometimes, they only hate one of us. some times one hates one and one hates another.....
but, pretty much, everyday, waking up the same, acting the same, being the same, consistent me...and even the same, consistent us........................someone, at some point in our day is going to hate one of us or both of us. and that's o.k., but it doesn't make it any fun. it's actually a bit depressing.....especially, since this was a lifelong dream....to have a family and share our dreams
and just now, the phone rang..... it's the other 3 humans in the family...(and i use that term lightly, depending on the moment).......they have just called me from the ski shop, where they went to rent skis for the rest of the season).....so that we may all ski as one big, happy family......and everyone is as happy as can be.....the hate is gone...the teeth are hidden...for now...dada...dadadada.....dada...dada.dadadadadadada........
"i think we're gonna need a bigger boat." and it's only sunday.