In my life in photos, Nancy wrote a very appropro story to go along with her photo for the word of the day, script. And those who left comments, myself included, agreed with her that trying to script scenarios for how family events play out is wasted energy, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I’ve learned that it ain’t gonna happen just because I hope so, or say so.
Most moms, if not all, will tell you that we like to be in control of things. No news to husbands and offspring, I’m sure. We also like to fix things, as in problems…lives…relationships. Again, not headline news. And we become exceedingly frustrated when life doesn’t go…according to mom. I think Mother Nature might be feeling the same way these days. That’s why she’s adding her 2 cents.
Once, many, many years ago, my brother Ed and his wife spent Thanksgiving with us on Long Island, New York, where we lived at the time. My skills as a cook were still developing. Which is to say, I had to start cooking the night before to have a fabulous meal ready the next evening. I’ve no clue why I didn’t remember that “golden rule” for an important holiday meal with family.
Perhaps I thought I could wing it since there were only 4 of us. Maybe I was too busy sightseeing with them, to return to mundane things like planning, shopping, and prepping for a feast. Or maybe I thought my husband would spring for dinner at a restaurant. Or could it be that I was just having an off day. Whatever it was, I was obviously following a different script that holiday, trying to involve other characters in my “screenplay” of how things should be.
When reality struck…that I alone was responsible for feeding myself and 3 others the gourmet meal that was expected for Thanksgiving, I had a meltdown…all over my husband. I must admit to having a lot of those in my 20s, 30s, and 40s. High expectations of being superwoman, was commonplace in those days. And I had been striving to be the greatest female superhero of all.
When I put Thanksgiving dinner on the table, the offerings were pretty meager I felt. Somehow it didn’t look like the bounteous dinners served up by others before me. Ones over which I’d ”oohed” and “aahed.” I think forgetting to have corn as a side dish, or was it cranberry sauce, that made me blubber like a mad woman. I was obviously incoherent to my husband, brother and sister-in-law. From then on I think she thought I was “high-strung.” Perhaps my brother did too. And I don’t know if their opinion of me ever changed.
Thereafter I returned to following the usual script where I relied mostly upon myself to get things done…too afraid to “wing it” again. Not until I was well into my 50s did I start to relax, mostly with the encouragement of my husband and daughter who could care less about expectations, my own, and anyonelse’s.
My daughter didn’t arrive according to script, a miracle baby after my husband and I’d been married 16 years. Now a young adult she has learned early on that life is comprised of choices, decisions, and consequences. We came to this conclusion yesterday, while running errands. Her poignant contribution being…consequences. She’s learned through my mistakes, and a few of her own, that making good choices are primarily dependent upon what’s ultimately best…for her well-being.