I’ve done it again. I’ve created a daytime nightmare for myself.
I’ve invited a large section of my extended family over for dinner.
My dad and his wife life just a few minutes from us. We see them every now and then, and keep in touch regularly. My sister lives in Austin, Texas (a 13-hour drive, one we haven’t made for many years) with her husband and three kids. They’re driving up here this weekend for college visits with their oldest.
And I, once again picturing some lovely “Leave it to Beaver”-type family that has never existed in the world of my extended family, have invited them all for a cookout. In a particularly brilliant move, it won’t take place until NEXT weekend, leaving me over a week to stew about it.
Tidying up the house? No problem. Cooking and preparing the meal? No problem. In reality, the actual gathering won’t really be a problem, in the accepted sense. No, it’s just the freaky baggage I carry. The memories of ugly scenes many years ago. Nowadays we all behave ourselves and on the surface everything will seem lovely. But inside I’ll be squirming.
There’s the alcoholism and co-dependency and enabling in one section of the invitation list, which we pretend doesn’t exist.
And there’s the fact that for all of my adult life I’ve been heavily involved in church work (as always, see my disclaimer under the “About This Mom” tab) and that my paying job for ten years has been in ministry. Put that together with the fact that my sister and her family are firm pagans (I’m not exaggerating, and I SWEAR I bear no judgment about their belief system) and that she’s convinced that I’m judging all over the place simply because that’s been her experience with Christianity…YUCK!!!
Okay, that will be all I have to say about that. It’s good to get it out so maybe I won’t dwell on it quite so much. Just concentrate on the menu and have fun with the cooking.
I know I’m in good company, dealing with extremely heavy family baggage. Most of us have something in our extended family that drives us nuts. Any words of sympathy welcome.