Sunday, September 11, 2022


Lately I have been a bit lonely. It happens, right? Homeschooling takes my mornings with all the wonderful learning, and then there is chores, cooking, cleaning, and spending what time I can with the kids. This stage in life, for my extroverted self, is a bit lonely. I love my kids, but I miss my friends sometimes. My best friend Mandy has been coming over every other week in the evenings for two hours and it has been the balm for my parched soul! We have been doing the gateway 1 homeopathy coarse by Joette together and I am falling more and more in love with homeopathy. 

But I just don't have time for many playdates anymore. I used to be able to manage 1-2 a week and we haven't been getting any in...I don't think it is good for Reuben. He misses his best friend. He does have friends he sees at church and we do a small nature co-op twice a month but we used to do a co-op weekly and also try and see at least one friend once a week on top of that. And we just came off summer where I did playdates as much as possible. 

We have met another one of our neighbors and she has a daughter the same age as Reuben and they play beautifully together. I need to make more playdates with them, but she and I are both exhausted homeschooling mothers who garden. She has chickens! But we can make it work. We always seem to be free at opposite times, the irony. 

The holidays are coming. And while I love the holidays with my family, I have come to dread what I miss. Growing up we either spent the holidays with my stepfather's large extended family in TN, or with my favorite Aunt in GA. I have wonderful memories of large thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. I have said this before on here, but Reuben does not have any of that and I mourn for him. It is just me, Brian and the kids for most holidays. One Christmas I visited my favorite Aunt in GA and that was SO wonderful! But we can't always drive 8 hours for holidays, and my Aunt usually gets only 2-3 days off work. It's so hard. 

Brian has no family, his only brother died. My sister has four kids, two that are significantly older than mine and she doesn't visit because of her trauma. Her younger two kids are living with their father and she hasn't seen them in three years. She is miserable and unhappy most of the time if she does visit it is hard to be around, as she can be combative and angry. I realize that is no excuse not to see someone, and I try to help. But it is hard to be around someone who is depressed, especially on the holidays. Even if they have good reasons. My sister also has three dogs and many cats, and Brian, my husband, is seriously allergic to dogs and cats so if she does bring one (and she is only allowed to bring one) it usually barks and she has to leave. The dogs cannot come inside because of my husband allergies. 

This all sounds like excuses. But it is just life. Life is hard sometimes, in many ways. I love my sister, and I know she loves me, but I struggle to find the line where I can help her, be a friend to her, and also have good boundaries. Sometimes I think I am doing it well, and it all blows up in my face.

A few months ago (2? 3?) I was headed out to the garden to weed around the tomatoes and pick some vegetables when my sister showed up without texting or calling. It was a Saturday, and she sent her kids to our back porch where we were hanging out to show us some newborn puppies that her dog had about four weeks back. They were cute and my kids were enthralled. My sister stayed in the car and I spent a few minutes chatting with her kids and then went on my way towards the garden to do my picking, leaving the cousins to play together.

This is apparently when my sister got out of the car and came up to the porch. She thought I was avoiding her--I wasn't (And I didn't know she thought this until much later when my mom finally told me) but she had her kids tell my husband that they were hungry. I regularly feed them when they come over, I love cooking and her kids love my food which is nice, since my kids usually cry when I cook...(especially Becky!) My husband gave them some yellow squash I had picked from the garden yesterday. If I had been there I would have given them something to eat right that moment. Apparently my sister was upset that she had been given squash when she had her kids tell my husband they were hungry, and she left. I had seen her get out of the car and seen her chat with my husband but was too far away to hear anything, and I thought after I got done weeding/picking I would get a chance to chat with her, but she left so suddenly I did not get too. I didn't think anything of this at the time, I thought oh, she just stopped by quickly to show the puppies.

Apparently she has been angry at me for weeks, one for not feeing her kids and two for ignoring her and going to the garden. I heard all about this from my mother. My mom said her food stamps had run out and she had no food at all, which wasn't what my husband understood from the brief communication. We don't keep a lot of convenience food around, because of our allergies we make most things from scratch. But I didn't know she didn't have any food and that was what she was asking for. I thought, when my husband told me what her kids said, that they were just doing what they always do; asking for food because they were at my house. I was wrong.

She still won't talk to me, I have been trying for weeks. 

My mom bought her groceries. 

This is just one of many interactions and miscommunications with my sister that make life hard. I know I don't understand her. I know her life is really awful and she's struggling. What I don't know is how to help and how to have a relationship with her sometimes. I wonder if she feels the same about me, that I live in another world? I don't know. I would tell her, and I try, that I also have struggles with my health, my kids, communicating with my husband and navigating life. But she always replies "at least I have a husband" or "at least I have my kids". Which is true, I do have those things. But I also have bad days. 

My mom was a single mom and probably understands her better. I try hard not to judge and love, and I hope she tries not to judge me and also love. 

Anyway, this just goes to show a tiny bit of why our extended family dynamics are a bit of a muddle.

No one is promised tomorrow, so let's make the best of today. But I am kind of mad at my sister, can you tell? I shouldn't be, but I wrestle with it regardless. I need to love her as Christ would love her, and she should do the same for me. 

Anyway. After writing this I just feel tired, and perhaps I shouldn't have written all this personal stuff, but here it is. I'm going to eat a bunch of chips and dip and persuade my husband to go on a walk with me. Tomorrow Reuben gets a dental device installed and he is really nervous (it shouldn't hurt and is non-invasive) and I am hopeful it will help him heal and be able to breathe out of his nose. Poor kid. Pray that it works. 

No comments: