Saturday, March 26, 2005

I wonder what your basis for comparison is.

It's not fair!

My parents are coming today and it's rainy. That wouldn't be so bad if it had been raining all week. However, it has been absolutely freeking gorgeous up until I woke up this morning and now, when my mother's heart is already going to be bursting with sadness that her daughter has rejected the comfort that they worked so hard to provide for me in my childhood, now it's also going to be dark and dreary and there is no discounting the emotional effect of seeing a place for the first time in the rain.

So, I'm frantically cleaning the trailer in the hopes of lightening that burden on my mother just a little. I don't want her worried about me once she goes back home because I'm living in filth, too. My brother Daniel said not to stress too much because she's not going to like anything anyway. He said she said, "Well, it could be worse," when she came to see his apartment in Chicago and it's actually really nice.

This makes my mother sound like one of those harridans that has spent her life breaking down the self-esteem of her children in a bid to get attention for herself. Not true. She's about the best mom a person could hope to have. She spent her life giving us whatever we wanted once she had honestly helped us figure out whether or not we really wanted what we asked for. In every sense of the phrase, she just wants us to be happy. And we believe her.

That being said, my mother's most famous comment to me, said in a moment of frustration, was: "We taught you kids to think for yourselves and now we don't like what you think!" Being kids that had been taught thusly, we just laughed and went to hug her. Sometimes she just doesn't understand our choices. Thus the earlier comment to my brother about his apartment. She never holds her misunderstanding against us, though. It just pains her sometimes that our choices lead us to have to accept some discomfort and even pain to get to what will make us happy. She keeps that pain to herself mostly, but we know it's there and I try to alleviate it whenever I can without compromising my own happiness. If I compromised my own happiness too much to make her happy, I would actually make her sadder because, as I said before, the thing she wants most is for us to be happy. Get it? Got it? Good, now go to bed. :-)

So my fingers are bleachy and I'm struggling to sweep a floor that has damp footprints all over. Ack!

My parents are only staying one night, less than 24 hours. I'm a little sad about that because I want them to love it here as much as I do. I want to show them everything that I love. This place is going to have been so pivotal in my life, I want them to be able to reference it with me. However, they have been here before when I didn't live here and they didn't have a very good time. The food was bad and their room was right next to the bar after a wedding. Add this previous experience to my mother's forboding to the slight sadness they will feel with seeing the reality of the fact that their friend (me) lives somewhere far away and the sum is a short stay. They don't want to prolong the mixed emotions too long. The three of us are going to visit Vancouver for three days after going to Easter Sunday service at my church. Then, we'll just be able to enjoy each other.

So, they'll get off the ferry at 4:40 and I'll meet them there. We'll drive toward town and I'll make them pull over to look at the baby lambs if they're out. Then, we'll stop at Mindy's so Mom can see where I'm going to live. She'll be a little grossed out by the yard, but I'll show her the garden and the chickens (remind her of the farm fresh eggs) and then take her in the house, which is new and shiny, with a clean bathroom and kitchens. We'll chat up Mindy a little, then say good-bye because we'll meet up with her later for dinner and I want them to see Rhonda's before dark. So, we'll pass by The Exchange because it's closed and we'll see it Sunday on the way out. Then, we'll stop and, depending on their shoes, I'll show them the beds I've dug and manured and planted at Rhonda's. I'll talk exictedly about all the things she's accomplished with the help of the community, like the hinges on the gate that Zacharya the blacksmith made out of recycled metal for her and the garden cart that Jeff gave her that she fixed up with Zacharya's help. Then, we'll drive further up the road to see if she's home to give them a chance to talk and to let them see her neat-o little set-up. Then, we'll go to their hotel (I've already gone over to check that they will have the best room in the house), check in and it will soon be time for dinner. Jeff and Mindy will join us and it will be the best food on the island at the Inn at Ship Bay (we also have the best table reserved). In the morning, I'll let them see my trailer (it will at least be light out) and then we'll try the breakfast at the Callalloo, go over to the bookstore because Dad needs books to read while on vacation, then go to church at 12:30. All of the old ladies at church will tell Mom and Dad how good my voice is and other nice things. We'll sing my favorite Easter hymns and Mom and Dad will see how gorgeous my church is. Lunch will be at Rose's after church. Then, we'll drive out to the Exchange and wander around there for a little while. Dad will find something unexpected and be excited about it and Mom will just be kind of grossed out because it's basically a junkyard, but I'll try to talk about why I like it. After that, we'll probably catch the ferry out. I do hope they offer to go grocery shopping while they're here, though. I need some olive oil and that's pretty expensive. :-)

I'll let you know if everything goes as planned. I'm glad they're coming. I need some family right about now.


Susan said...

How was the trip?

PrincessMax said...

It was almost exactly as I thought (at least the part on the island). The food on Sunday got a little messed up since not much seems to be open around here on Sundays. We did not go hungry though. I think that can be said about the entire trip. Dad got some books at the Exchange and Mom said she was glad it was me and not her working there. They didn't buy me groceries (they would have if I had asked and are probably right now tsk-ing in indignation that I didn't) but they gave me some cash, so I think I'll be fine. Mom and I got me some more yarn before I got on the ferry, too. They were pretty impressed at the scope of what Rhonda was doing. She was out in the fields and talked to them while she worked. They expressed a sense that my trailer was not terrible but that they were glad a) that they had seen Mindy's house first (Mom saw right through that little ploy) and b) that I would have a place to go soon. :-) We had a nice time.