Family Fourth of July 2014

I feel like maybe my last post was TMI - sorry about that, if so.  Dating is an adventure for sure!

Fourth of July with family was an adventure, as well.  Lake T@hoe was gorgeous and the weather was perfect.  My mom was doing pretty well, except she got tired more quickly and needed to rest more.  I made a full bacon, pancake, potatoes, and cantaloupe breakfast for the family Saturday morning, which was fun to do.  I think I'll make that a tradition.

A couple other highlights were going out on the boat to watch fireworks with my mom, sister, her husband, and my niece and nephew, J and E.  It was chilly on the boat, so J and I got some good cuddle time.  We sang some songs and the fireworks were great, including J's favorite - butterfly shapes - and smiley faces and hearts accompanied by the song, "Happy." 

Saturday was a great day overall because the whole family ended up down on our dock talking, sipping drinks, and playing in the water.  There's a perfect little person-made swimming area, protected from the waves on the lake by large rocks.  E and I had a squirt gun fight with lots of laughter and my sister and I had our first meaningful conversation while hanging out on the dock.  She can be tough for me to connect with, so that was nice.  Then, several of us took turns trying out the paddle board - I found it harder than it looks to keep afloat! but they got a good pic of me paddling on it that they thought I should put on my dating profile.  I'm not sure about that, but maybe...

Stemming from the paddle board picture, my sister and I had an interesting conversation later in the evening, too, about the definition of "athletic" as a body type on profiles.  I used to put athletic but now put "average." I think if you list athletic, then the guy will think that you are thin and super fit, which I'm not.  My sister thinks I'm athletic because of my genes - my natural build and athleticism.  It's true I'm pretty strong and coordinated and did gymnastics and track for many years, then dancing.  But I'm probably 15 pounds or more overweight now, so I think it would be false advertising.  Thoughts?

Anyway, after our time at the dock, we headed in for more hanging out and talking, then a delicious smoked ribs and veggie/chicken/noodles with peanut sauce dinner (my tummy was a bit upset later, though!) and laughing a lot talking about all the famous people we each had encountered.  Dinner morphed into music and a dance party, which we always have to make happen at some point, as it's become a tradition with the kids.

Overall, I would say it was the best trip in recent times that I have had with family, and definitely the best Fourth of July trip.  That said, my parents are still very shut down emotionally and don't make much of an effort to reach out and connect.  It kind of wears on me, I think more than it does on my sister (well she's a bit like that herself) and my brother who both have spouses and kid(s).  And my sister is clearly the "favorite" child, who my parents want to please.  When her family left Sunday morning, it was a huge fanfare, and when I left later in the day, it's like, "Make sure and shut the garage door on your way out."  lol 

I tried to make allowances with my Mom being sick, and to be caring and make sure she was comfortable whenever possible.  The feelings of sadness and hurt came up strongly at the end, however, against my will (writing this, I am actually wondering if some of the sadness was ABOUT my mom's illness).  It didn't help that I was really tired after our late dinner/dance night the evening before.  I held it together, though, to say goodbye to my parents and that I had a really good time, did a little crying walking out, and then had a good talk out by the garage with my brother, who normalized a lot of what I was feeling.  He said our dad only talks to him about business, or maybe politics when he's been drinking.  And he said, which he's said before, that he doesn't think our parents will ever be capable of meeting my need for connection/love/acceptance; that he's basically given up on that. 

I think I had "given up" more, but then the leadership program I was in sort of encouraged trying to heal things with people - plus my mom getting sick made me feel softer towards her, as I've shared here.  I don't know, I think maybe there's a line to walk in-between, where I still am authentic and available to connect where possible, but I recognize their limitations and faults and try not to take them personally.  It's a tough one.

After a good night's sleep and getting grounded in my own life again, I guess I'm feeling better and more of a sense of gratitude that I had more connection with them than I've had in a while.  No, it wasn't even close to ideal, but it was a small shift, and feeling softer towards my mom is a good thing.  Plus, I had a great time with everyone (I have a cool SIL and BIL, too) talking, boating, playing in the water, and so much fun being with my nieces and nephew.  So I think gratitude wins the day.


  1. I'm glad that you had a good trip. I'm sorry that your parents are distant. My relationship with my mom seems similar to what your brother is describing- I've long since given up on trying to connect and/ or please her. In fact I have not actually spoken to her in over three years. I'm proud of you for continuing to try to connect, but remember to not do it as the cost of you.

    1. Thank you for this supportive comment, Nell, I appreciate it. I'm sorry you went through similar stuff with your mom. It's hard to not care how they treat you when they are your parents and "supposed" to love you unconditionally. Or that's what every child (adult or youngster) wants anyway.

  2. Sounds like a really fun trip and glad you got to hang out with your family. Don't have any words of wisdom about the family situation, just that I have some of the same going on with my sister. Like your brother said, sometimes one just needs to accept that some people are incapable of certain things and move on. Good advice, but hard to follow for sure.

    1. Yes, hard to move on from those feelings with your family especially when you see them on a regular basis. I'm feeling in this moment like I just want to honor how freaking hard it is and the journey we go through around family who are not as available or conscious (saying it nicely).