Friday, December 28, 2007

Family negotiation

The past is never over, as Sydney Carter once wrote. For this reason, family holidays can be tense. When I see my sons this time of year, I remember their first Christmas, when we photographed them inside the Christmas stockings which now hang by the fireplace; and I think of the Strawberry Shortcake bed set we bought for my daughter one year. To our children, this silent reminiscence must be annoying. At times they allude to occasions when I was arbitrary and out of touch. This hurts, for I did my best.
Their energy level is different from mine and Joe's. We go shopping, and in the space of two hours, they visit four or five stores. Left to my own devices, I'd go to one and take a break. Joe no longer comes on these excursions. As I struggle to keep up with them, they obviously view me as feeble. I find their perception unfair. Earlier this year, I climbed the Great Wall of China.

In my preparations, I fixed enough food for a small army. Clearly, our children prefer to eat out. This morning, Ben's and Mike's last at our home, they will humor me by coming here for breakfast. As I write, cinnamon rolls rise in the kitchen.
Above: Emily and her husband Steve.
Below: Ben, Mike, Emily, and Steve.


Ruth said...

Love you Roz..

Roz said...

Thanks, Ruth!

Ruth said...

I really do mean it. I admire all that you have accomplished, I am proud to have you as a friend.

Jana Dobesova said...

WOW, Roz, these were some vulnerable confessions. I loved reading this. It is so real and transparent. Thank you for sharing this. I am starting to understand perhaps how my parents feel even though they never say it.

What does tomorrow mean? It is 5:30 pm here, but at home it’s 5:00 in the morning. I leave Weihai tomorrow and make a stop in Beijing. ...