Little Bits of Pixie Dust

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thourougly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I took my son to meet some people today that I said he would never meet, and that I swore he would never be exposed to.

These people are my grandparents.

My parents have been divorced since I was two, so I never really knew them as married. I know from things that my mom has told me that she was never welcomed into the family and was always made to feel like an outsider. When I came along, for some reason they couldn't get past the fact that I was half my mom, and I wasn't treated very well either.

No, I was never abused, and I had stuff to play with and was fed and all that stuff. Sometimes my grandpa would read me a story. But I never, not once, felt comfortable there. There are pictures of all the other grandchildren displayed in frames... but not me. They never called me, never asked about me, were never interested in anything that I did. They didn't know my interests, they didn't know what grade I was in or who was my best friend. I never did anything with them that didn't involve my dad picking me up and taking me to their house.

One year for Christmas, I got a gift certificate that had the original name blacked out and mine written above it. I had to sit at the kids table until I was seventeen years old. My mom was nice enough to invite them to my graduation party, but they never came or even RSVPed. I was constantly reminded, in subtle ways, how I was somehow less of a person than they were, that my mom was raising me in the complete wrong way, and basically I just wouldn't amount to anything. When I was eighteen, it was no longer required by law that I go over there with my dad, and I finally told him that I wouldn't do it anymore. I asked him if he would want to go to a strangers house on Thanksgiving, because that is essentially what it was like.

The next time I saw my grandparents was the day that I got married. Of course I invited them because that is the "right" thing to do. They had never even met A*. They didn't go to the reception.

But my dad, oh my dad. He wants everyone to get along so badly, and he doesn't understand the way that I've felt over the years. He wants to believe more than anything that everyone likes each other and we'll all be a big happy family. I know that this will never happen. And I told myself that the Peanut would never have to feel the way that I felt, as they sat there and judged me.

My dad asked me if my grandparents could meet their great-grandchild, the first for them. I don't know how else to tell my dad that there is no point, I will never be a part of that fictional family. But it means so much to him. It means so much, and he means so much to me, that I told him I would go. I told him I would only stay for an hour at the longest, but I would go.

So we did. And I hate to admit it, but I dressed Peanut all up for the occasion, like I have something to prove to these people. And he was cute and well behaved and I was so proud of him. They took pictures that I know will never grace the walls or even the refridgerator. They made stupid small talk. They never looked me in the eye.

And I realized something, as I sat there and watched my son drool all over her shoulder. I didn't care. These people couldn't hurt me anymore. I don't care what they think about me, or my son, or my family. I get to go home with my beautiful boy to my loving husband, and they can't touch that. It was an awesome feeling, something that has been twenty-eight years in the making.

We stayed an hour, and then I took my son and we drove away. I remember the relief I used to feel, pulling out of the driveway and knowing I didn't have to go back until the next holiday. I breathed a sigh of relief, turned the music up loud, and drove home.


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