The boys headed off to stay with their Nina, their paternal grandma, this weekend while my husband enjoyed 36 hours of childfree bliss.
We lazed around the house a bit. We shopped — with no whining. We ate meals while they were still hot. We drank coffee — while it was still hot. We listened to inappropriate rap music. We laughed so hard we cried. We slept the peaceful sleep of adults not being woken up by a little face right next to the bed, not-so-stage-whispering, “Mommy… Mommy! Can I have breakfast? I AM STARVING!” We were still somehow almost late for church, which maybe leads me to believe it might be our fault and not theirs but the jury is still out on that one. We enjoyed our time together.
Really, the weekend was a much needed little bit of respite. I like spending time with my husband. I do!
Someone asked me what I did this weekend, and so I briefly shared the truth. “Oh, my mother-in-law watched the boys and we had a Date Day, Night, Morning and Afternoon.”
The Someone snort-smirked. “Must be nice,” The Someone hissed.
I just kind of blinked.
Well, yeah. It was nice. That was kind of the point of it.
I didn’t respond right away. I mean, what do you say to someone who is seemingly mad at you for living your life? I apparently raised an eyebrow which was an obvious cue for The Someone to launch into a tirade.
“Well, I just don’t understand why couples think they can just pawn their kids off on the grandparents all the time and go out and party and do God knows what. Why have kids?”
I could have gotten all defensive and told The Someone that my mother-in-law hadn’t had the kids since before her surgery in November. I could have called a spade a spade and called The Someone a Jelly Face. I could have told The Someone to shut its pie hole, but my husband and I have disagreed on whether or not Jesus would actually say that, so I am trying to refrain just in case he wouldn’t.
I could have said any number of things and, really, no one would have blamed me for getting on my soapbox and laying into this Someone. But I had one of those moments in which I pause and think before I speak, which is a rarity, I know. I then, in that moment, had a flash of a saying, pinned often and in various forms. “Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Though I kind of like the one that goes, “Everyone is fighting their own battles; try not to be a ____.” (I don’t write that word here. Fill it with your own. Jackwagon works nicely.) I kind of sighed a little, not because I was all that angst and woe about what had just been said to me but because I couldn’t get on my soapbox. Everyone needs a good soapbox on a Monday.
“Well, our kids are just so lucky to have grandparents that argue over who gets to have them next!” I forced a smile across my face, the tone of my voice much sweeter than usual. Saccharine like; very un-Jenna. “Well, we have to finish this errand! Have a nice day!” And I walked away, pushing the cart and pulling my children along behind me. Because, oh yeah, they got to witness that unnecessary exchange as well.
I bought expensive dog food and treats, dragged my children into the grocery for my new weakness, mint and chocolate cocoa, and then made my way home where I made dinner, cleaned the house and played Go Fish and War with my boys.
As I was getting them ready for bed, BigBrother asked, “Mommy, are we not supposed to go to Nina’s house?”
I forced myself to take a breath so I didn’t yell my answer. Obviously I wasn’t mad at my son, but the anger I felt toward some random semi-not-really acquaintance was really starting to cramp my style.
“Buddy, that’s not it at all. And listen, I want you to take each and every moment you have with your grandparents and cherish them. Remember them. Make the most of them. Grandparents are something really, really special. Don’t you forget that. Now go get in the shower.”
I maintain that the relationship between grandparents and grandkids is something special, something to be cherished and nurtured. I am thankful, especially so after this exchange, that my children are blessed with grandparents who not only want their grandkids’ presence but actively seek it.
And since Someone asked, I had children in hopes that they might grow up to bring more good to the world than bad. You know, unlike that Special Monday exchange I had with Someone. So shut your pie hole. Please. And that’s what Jenna would say — if she didn’t think first. Ahem.