Liam's birthday was last week! Hip hip!
I kept it EXTREMELY low key this year, and that's not a lie. My anxiety level was so high, I was about ready to call the whole thing off. The "theme" was Toy Story Drive In. So I borrowed a projector and my parents set up the garage as a movie theater. I rented a popcorn machine, which I think the adults liked as much as the kids. We made tacos to eat. There were under 30 people there- 10 of which were little ones. It was fun!
I planned to invite my good friend from up north- one of those people who upon the first meeting, there was some instant clicking going on. Lots of laughter. Talking. Smiling. Hugs when departing. You know the kind- natural friendships. So I invited her to Liam's party. She bought train tickets. She and I began to plan our visit.
My mother in law had other plans.
"She's not welcome. And I couldn't possibly have a good time if I knew she was going to be there."
"I think she's loud and opinionated. She makes me feel awkward."
Pot calling the kettle black much?
"I don't want her there."
--So what, pray tell, would you have me do?
"I don't know. I could be the adult here, but I don't feel like it. I don't want her there."
At this point, I erupted. (I feel it prudent to mention I was in the bathroom at the time. Liam was opening gifts for his ACTUAL birthday DAY, my parents were downstairs, we had just finished cake... And for those who aren't parents, there's a little siren which goes off when kids realize their parents are on the phone. It's much like a dog whistle...but it encourages kids to just run WILD and get into every possible thing they can get their grubby little paws on. This requires multi tasking. AND ANOTHER THING. I hate talking on the phone. Just laying there talking frustrates me to no end. Multi-task. The end.)
What I said went something like "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? FINE. I'LL UN-INVITE HER."
"Well I mean I just-"
"STOP TALKING. I SAID I'D UN-INVITE HER. WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT?"
"I know how this sounds."
At this point, I wanted to reach through the phone and grab her. Yes, I know how this sounds. You are CHOOSING to make a poor decision. "I could be an adult, but I choose not to be." One thing my MIL loves are peace signs. She's a grown up hippy. But not the kind who does sit ins and rallies for the whales. No no. She wears peace signs. They're on her walls. In her art work. On her shirts and earrings. Peace peace peace. Except for unwanted guests. Except for people she decides are "not one of us."
This is like claiming "I'm pro-life! No abortion! Save the babies!" And then in the next breath condemns "illegals" to get out of our country. I'm pro-life! Just. Not YOUR life.
Our pastor is leaving our church. It saddens me GREATLY because we love him and his family. They are our best friends, quite literally. They have three great kiddos, and we all have lots in common. For a church who practices "peace," we're not seeing much of it. Many times where strong opinions are voiced, the need to be heard outweighs the need to practice peace.
We went out for breakfast the other morning. Andy ordered eggs over easy. The waitress came to our table bearing his eggs and a terrible look on her face, "Sir. I bumped your toast and it broke your egg yolk. I'm SO SO SORRY. I can take it back." Andy looked at her and gently said, "Oh I don't care. I'll break it myself here soon!" She breathed a sigh of relief, "Thank you so much. You wouldn't believe how people get so upset over that."
I could choose to love refugees entering our country out of fear, but I don't want to. They should get their papers like everyone else. Women and children be damned.
I could choose to speak to the pastor about my concerns, but an anonymous letter seems like a more valiant way to get my point across.
I could choose to look at my waitress making minimum wage as a person and ignore my broken yolks, but, eh, she should get a better job anyway.
I could choose to be an adult, but I don't want to.
As an aside, my inlaws never made it to the party. My MIL had a high BP and went to the ER and they found out she had strep. She's got a medical heart issue- I'm not sure what it's called. But high BP could be fatal. Maybe it's time to let bygones be bygones and let go of some hate.
My friend was gracious and did not attend the party. She changed her train ticket for Thanksgiving, which seems like an awesome time to be together with the people you love.
Grace and Peace be with you.
(And also with you.)