There is a place like none other. A place where children are spoiled while you wait, where the word NO does not exist and where ice cream, cake, donuts, candy and cupcakes are each their own food group and not classified as treats. Where could this place of wonder and glory be located you wonder? For my children it is in Holly, Michigan, home of grandma and grandpa. Even while recovering with his broken back, my father had every treat in the house pulled out within 90 seconds of our arrival and when I said they probably didn’t need a treat quite yet he pulled out a bag of brand new Barbies for the girls to open.
I love my parents, they are the most wonderful human beings you will ever meet and I am thankful everyday that I have them in my life. It is a mystery to me that these are the same people that I lived with for 20 years. My parents were not quite as tolerant of my brothers and I, and there was definitely not a presentation of treats when we arrived home. Even as I close the gap to being 40, I remember my dad hiding the bag of peanut M&M’s from us and when we caught him eating them he told us they were vitamins.
We were loved for sure, but there were expetations. My father was big with discipline and had a short fuse, when I was a child I actually thought Jesus Christ and God Dammit lived with us or that my dad was profoundly religious. If we had jumped on the furniture, it would not have been cute, like it is when mykids do it. If we sassed, we got smacked. My kids say something sassy and my parents are calling friends and relatives to repeat how darn cute it is!
Today while I was in the shower I kept waiting for my dad to pound on the door and yell, “Jesus Christ, you have been in there for four minutes, save some water for the rest of the God Dammed family!” When this didn’t happen, I started cursing myself for being selfish. I come out of the shower to find my dad doing a loadof laundry for one of my kid’s shirt and pants that she had soiled. One load for two pieces of clothing??? Could this be the same person that grounded me for a week for putting one shirt in the dryer so I could wear it to school that morning?
It will be a tough return to reality when we make the journey back to Virginia tomorrow. My husband and I will have to invoke martial law and crack the whip to get them back to normal. The kids will beg and plead to go live with grandma and grandpa, and just as we get them back where we want them, it will be time to visit grandma and grandpa again.