so living over a thousand miles from our closest family members has definite drawbacks. and some benefits. i know that sounds bad and there are definitely times when i would do just about anything to be within a reasonable driving distance to some of them. but sometimes i appreciate our relative familial seclusion all the more. this past weekend my sister came to visit. thursday to sunday morning. without her husband or my two nieces. she was here almost exactly one year ago. when the babies were crazy crying needy needy little bits of people. and i was dazed. sleep deprived. and virtually unaware of anything going on in anyones world. including my own. this time however i was much more awake. and aware. of things being said. or done. mostly (i imagine i will look back on this in a few years i see the fog surrounding my head still but it is thinning a bit anyhow…). a bit of background – my sister is three years my elder. we did not get along as children. at all. and as far as things we have in common there is virtually no overlap. that being said in the past two years or so we have gotten much closer. we email and text on a very consistent nearly daily basis. but the fact that we have divergent values and priorities in life is never far from the surface.
so she arrived. and all was well. initially. we played with the wigglers. she napped while they did. hook came home. i had a glass of wine. and started talking a bit about things that were going on. in her marriage. from growing up. extended family relations. etc. and it only took a few minutes for her to make it abundantly clear that there was no part of these conversations she wanted to be involved in. and that was well… frustrating and a bit infuriating to me honestly. i am not one to think that sticking your head in the sand all the time is a good way to live. as long as i can remember my sister has avoided conflict. or discord. or perhaps even the truth. at all costs if she thinks it might be difficult. i guess i had just thought perhaps things had changed. and we could talk. and have real conversations. as adults. and not hide behind niceties and idle chatter. but i was wrong. so the next few days were stilted in my opinion. i didn’t say much. and it was so evident that i had breached some invisible boundary. comfortable for everyone. my sister took this as an opportunity to provide commentary/criticism on everything that was wrong with my life. my house wasn’t clean enough. she could not find anything in my kitchen. my babies shouldn’t be climbing on the furniture. hook should listen better. i should give the wigglers less fruit. she said it was clear i had given up on even trying to keep my house clean. and she actually scolded m for using paper towels instead of a napkin. i could go on and on. but i need to let it go. saturday morning i woke up feeling woefully unprepared to run a 10 mile race i had signed up for weeks ago. yet i was still excited. the prospect of getting out of the house for a few hours into the gorgeous weather was inviting. and so i ran and loved it. and then came back home to the comments. and scrutiny. but honestly. it isn’t worth the energy to be frustrated with her. i could make a list of things i disagree with in her life and how she raises her children. but i don’t. it isn’t my life. or my kids. i am trying to keep in mind that these are not my shortcomings but her own issues. so yes for now i am appreciating the distance. and enjoying my family. here. alone.