Uh oh…visitors

I ran three miles today and it was way harder and slower than they should have been. What the hell? A very telling and embarrassing physiological symptom of how I’m doing. Still, I did run. Mid-day. Max was napping and we’d all spent the morning at a park, including the dog. It feels like juggling grasshoppers, overseeing a four-year-old, a one-year-old, and a six-year-old lab who still behaves like a puppy. And that was with my husband, so we were “only” outnumbered 3 to 2! I tend to do better with the whole crew when we’re outside, though, so it was really nice to spend time together at one of our city’s lovely public parks. Having space to run and roam and explore is better for all of us. Being cooped us inside, not so much.

At the moment, my parents are quite literally on their way to visit, having flown from east coast to west. . A’s on his way to the airport with M for the second time, because their flight was delayed, and M is up far past his bedtime. I’ve picked up and cleaned up and washed up and done everything except dress up in preparation for their arrival. It’s past 9:00 pm Pacific and I.Am.Done. But I’ll probably catch a second wind when they walk through the door.

I love my parents.

Not everyone can say the same, I realize. So as I anticipate their visit from across the miles, I am hopeful, eager, and awake. I know that we are not always on the same page, my father or mother and me. I know that we are each navigating the world in our own unique way and sometimes, our paths don’t seem inclined to cross. But mostly, typically, I welcome them into my life as much as they welcome me into theirs. Letters, email, Facebook, real life in person visits. It all matters, and it all counts.

My paternal grandparents raised eleven children. My maternal grandparents raised nine. My parents raised three girls. A and I have two boys. We are all flawed, and difficult, and easy, in varying degrees, but no one would argue that we love and value our family beyond all else. It is wonderful and surprising and complex. Family requires intense dedication and planning and in our situation, invoking the “rule of the house”, which for us, is “to keep our brother safe”. I’m curious… what, if any, is the rule of your house? Do you have a family motto? a theme? a particular rule (s)?

Just what makes a family work?


2 thoughts on “Uh oh…visitors

  1. Gretchen says:

    I tell my boys all the time that their most important job in life is to take care of each other, now and always. Doesn’t always feel like it is working, but hopefully it will stick for the long term.

  2. evafannon says:

    I know the feeling of cleaning like crazy before the parents come. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I feel like my mom will be inspecting to see how well I keep our home…or maybe I just want it to be like her home would be when I come visit.

    I would say our family motto is “Family always comes first. No matter what, family is always there for you.”

    Enjoy the time with your parents!

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