Last night Frank and I went on a date. Sounds funny since we’ve been married so long, but it was a date nonetheless. Frank made reservations at Mrs. K’s Toll House in Silver Spring. We both dressed up in fancy duds and had a lovely dinner. (No Onions anywhere!) After dinner, we drove down to DC to see the lights and to visit the trees on the mall. Since our reservation had been a bit later, we didn’t really have time to get out and walk on the mall, but we cruised about in Everett and listened to some beautiful holiday music while we looked at the decorations and then we came home. It was very very nice.
Which is what I prefer to remember, as opposed to the conversation I had with my sister in the parking lot prior to dinner. Her birthday is Dec. 9 and I had forgotten to call her on her day. (Not my usual style, but it was a concert day and it just slipped by.) Dave’s birthday was the day after, and I wasn’t even up to go out on his day, so I still wasn’t thinking of my sister either. A few days later, I remembered that I had forgotten, so I went and got her a card- she won’t read her email- and figured I’d write my apologies in there. The next morning, with pen poised over the paper, Sean shows me a news article where I learn that my nephew has been arrested. Now I know that my card probably isn’t appropriate anymore and that I owe my sister a phone call, but I’m not going to call her that day since the arrest was fresh and I wanted to let her get over the things you have to take care of when your child is in trouble. That led to a quiet time, early for a dinner reservation, 10 days after her birthday, when I finally made the call. Glad I did, and glad I waited. She was teasing me about forgetting, but kinda serious because she figured something had to be very wrong for me not to remember her. I explained that I had seen what was going on in her life and was giving her a bit of space before I checked in.
She’s a mess. Her son is facing jail time and almost 40k worth of fines and damages and some of the root of his behavior can be traced to his father (they are divorced) who is mentally and emotionally abusive and a drug addict. My nephew is part of one of those downward spirals that drugs can drag a family through. I offered my love and support to my sister and walked into the restaurant.
Frank and I just looked at each other, both feeling the same sympathy/empathy for my sister. Not the best birthday nor holiday for her this year. We said we owed our children a discussion to say two things.
1. See, I wasn’t kidding when I said this kind of thing could happen and to follow the rules, this is why I was always “up in your junk”!
2. Thank you for listening and following the rules!
I love my kids.