The holiday season has come. And gone. I trust you had a good one. No matter what you celebrate. I hope it was filled with good tidings and love.
If you have read along at all (as always, thanks) you will know that I picked up a seasonal retail position. Though I was filled with nerves and apprehension at first, it has proven to be so good for me. Not only has it helped our financial situation, but it has really helped me. The staff is tremendous and ever so understanding. Not about my health or position just in general. They are a lovely bunch. However, my own little art and cake biz has picked up and I was working retail by day and baking by night!
I worked Christmas Eve. A full day. The other gals working were wearing matching tops. I purchased the same top. Even though I would likely never don the thing again. At least. Not until the next holiday season. Anyways…it was a good day. Went by quickly. The customers were great. I hadn’t worked on Christmas Eve since I was a bartender many, many moons ago. The boys had the day together at home. They were in charge of last minute tidying, and preparing for Santa. I rushed in the door of the house, at the end of the day, changed, gathered ourselves and headed out. We were set to make an appearance at my aunt and uncle’s annual Christmas Eve Open House. Thankfully (unless you are my nearly 5 year old) there was no snow or weather to speak of, in fact, it was quite mild and nice; we managed to catch my parents (I had gifts to give them, not for them but stuff I had purchased on their behalf for my younger brother – who doesn’t speak to me), meet my cousin’s new baby and have a lovely visit with family. An hour or so later, we ducked out and headed home.
Santa came. Gifts were opened. Laughter and love filled the house. (So did Lego and half of ToysRUs, but that’s another post!) My youngest brother was going to make an appearance at my folks’ for dinner so that meant we had to make alternate plans. And we did. We happily resolved to have a quiet, just-the-three-of-us Christmas. But, in the end, my folks struggled with not seeing their grandson (and possibly, me and the hubby) on Christmas Day. So we had them over that morning for brunch. We had a lot of fun.
Even though our absence from Christmas dinner caused a bit of confusion for a couple of my other family members.
Naked New Year
We have turned the calendar over to the next year. Ahead lay 360 (or so) days of renewed hope and promise. Opportunities and second (or third) chances.
A time for resolutions.
To ring in the New Year, the boys and I vegged out on the couch in our backroom and watched movies. All afternoon. Earlier I had made a batch of French Onion soup, for later that evening, and baked a batch of cookies for an order. We had some nibblies and lots of laughs, til about 10 pm, when the wee one asked if it would be okay if he went to bed. Later on, the hubby and I shared a couple of drinks. Listened to some music. Played Scrabble. Talked a lot. A. LOT. And just before midnight we heard the low thumping of a drum. It was time. We quickly grabbed our coats, our dinks and our hats. After one last look in at the little guy, we slipped out onto the porch and watched about 30-40 of our neighbours fully equipped with drums, horns, trombones and good cheer do the annual parade down the street and around the block.
As they marched by we shouted “Happy New Year,” and then slipped back indoors to snap our first pic of 2015.
We made a promise to each other. To be more naked. Now, don’t go envisioning the above strutting our stuff in a clothing-optional way (having been together nearly 15 years, there is very little – if anything – we have not seen of the other), but in a more meaningful soul way. It is time to put away the fears and politeness. Strip our relationship back to the core. Why were we together? Eliminate the pretense. Reintroduce the romance. And get back to loving each other.
In my post, The Relationship Conundrum, I was very open and honest about where we stood with each other. Our struggles. And, happily, I can say that things have greatly improved.
We have had many talks over the years. Hubby and I. About all sorts of things. Practical, tactical and fantastical. But, in my opinion, we had yet to have that conversation. The one that finds us exploring the feelings we have for each other. The conversation that means you have to make sure those feelings are even still there, and that can be a very scary chat to have. So scary in fact, many people avoid it. Whole lives are founded on the base that conversation never happens. And the relationship ceases to be one built on love, respect and companionship. Instead, it becomes something both parties tolerate.
New Year’s Eve (and in the early hours of New Year’s Day) that conversation happened. And US was not something either hubby or I felt we tolerated. It was something both of us WANTED.
A good start to 2015…
There is a saying, “Honesty is an expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people” and I believe that to be true.
A few weeks ago, Brother One was witness to an awful accident at work. We had not spoken for over 2 years when he texted and asked if I would come by and see him.
I had initiated communication with his (now ex-) girlfriend – the mother of his little one, that is the same age as mine – in hopes of rekindling our friendship and, perhaps, opening the doors for a relationship between the two cousins. Truth be told, I looked her up on Facebook and gathered from her profile picture that she and Brother One were no longer together. We exchanged a couple emails at the end of the summer, met for lunch and seemed to pick up where we left off. We texted every day. Chatted about all the same stuff we used to…my sister from another mister…
I was quite happy, and so was hubby. We had always enjoyed the time we had spent with her, even with my brother’s absence. And she always seemed to have the children’s best interests at heart.
She was quite eager to see our little one (which we allowed, following a visit with the three adults – hubby, myself and her). And to move forward from all the ugliness of the past. As were we. But Brother One was not as interested. He had his own reasons for keeping the kids apart. But they were not reasons I could understand or grasp. However, his ex (my friend) assured me that while she would consider his opinions he would have no veto power. Each time he put his foot down she had a feisty rebuttal.
So. I went to see Brother One. I have always said (publically and privately) that I would never turn down any of the brothers should they ask for my help. He asked. After witnessing what could have been a fatal accident. In the car I popped, and drove to his new house which happened to be oddly close to ours. Anyways. The awkwardness dissipated within the first five minutes, and he was rambling, asking questions and seeking advice. All typical of our relationship. I am (or was) my brother’s keeper. Very little about the children was discussed beyond the basic updates. But I left hopeful that my son would soon see the cousin he longed for.
Then everything changed.
I received a text from Brother One. It would be some time, according to him, until the kids got together. He was not prepared for the backlash that may come…concerned about how his mother (my bio-mother) would react if she were to find out the kids had seen each other…
Suddenly my friend (his ex) was in his corner. Saying she understood completely where he was coming from and stood by his decision.
What the fuck?