Easter with Folks

I had a really nice time with my parents. But I now would like about 48 hours of not having to see anybody. We got a lot of the gardening done I wanted to get done–sunny end of the bed is planted, as are morning glories and the hollyhocks. Plus, I planted a Carolina Jessamine in the fountain, which, hopefully, will fill up the fountain and trail over it and climb up it a little. We’ll see.

My dad kindly ordered us a load of dirt, so we can fill in the holes in the yard. That will be nice.

But the Butcher threw out his back, so I don’t know how the hole-filling is actually going to happen. If it’s all on me, we may be in trouble.

I did forget to feed the roses, though, so I need to remember to do that tonight.

Then we took a meandering drive to Jackson where we did not discover the grave of Zilpha Murrell. But it’s still a really pretty cemetery, so I’m glad we went. And then we went to Pinson mounds, but it was too rainy to really get out and look at them. They do have this cute sign that tells you not to climb on the museum (which is situated in a mound), which my mom was determined to ignore.

Then, yesterday, I fed everyone so much and so richly that they all laid around all afternoon moaning and napping.

So, victory is mine.

I thought my parents might go down to Georgia, too, but they did not. My dad is still really angry at my brother. My mom said something about wondering if she’d even get to meet the next grandchild and my dad assured her that she would. But I think that my dad wants to see my brother take some responsibility–either by getting his own place or by bringing the baby up here (when it comes) to visit with my parents–something that shows some initiative. And he’s staying away until that happens.

And, I imagine, if it doesn’t happen, he’ll figure something out so that he can get to see his grandkids without opening himself up to too much pain.

This is one of those situations where I wonder if I’m supposed to step up and smooth this over. But I have to tell you that I feel no inclination to. My parents are fun to be around when they’re not stressed and worried about shit. Right now is the best our relationship has been in fifteen years. And, while I don’t give a shit how much money they give to my brother, I do really, really deeply resent how much the stress of his life weighs on the health of my parents.

So, frankly, I’m glad to see them taking some steps to protect themselves from the stress. I still can’t get over his first kid’s mom calling my dad at Thanksgiving to chew him out about all the things my brother is ostensibly doing wrong. And my brother said nothing to her about it.

I don’t know. It’s rough. My parents didn’t really raise us to stick up for ourselves–though they kind of think they did. We were always taught to keep our heads down and stay off people’s radars and to imagine what the assholes are going through and try to understand them. If we learned to stick up for ourselves, it was mostly on our own. So, in order for our brother to do what he needs to do in order to appease my dad, he’s got to somehow develop skills now at 36 that he’s never been encouraged to develop along the way.

And they’re skills for which he’s going to get grouched at by my dad–who complained that the Butcher is often “angry” when really the Butcher is just standing up for himself, for instance.

And yet, they are also skills he needs to develop if he’s going to have any shot at happiness. Or for my dad to feel safe around him and his extended family.

I don’t envy him that bind.

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