I guess I understand to some degree. I hate to be pushed around as well. Nothing makes my hackles rise as much as someone lording their authority over me unnecessarily. Eventually she’ll realize that being asked to pick up her sweater (asked nicely, I might add) doesn’t really require 45 minutes of high energy protestations–save that energy for more important battles.
Jeremiah was gracious enough to pronounce that she’s just like me.
It doesn’t get much better than spinning in a pink and purple frilly skirt worn over top a pink dress. If you’re a three year old girl, that is.
I sent a girls-in-daffodils picture to Jeremiah, and he suggested that we meet him for lunch in a cafe in town. Naomi found the walk very long. Towards the end we passed a bunch of flash new buildings with glass facades, and she stopped to admire her reflection, adjusting her skirt, preening here and there. “Oh, I didn’t know we had fairies in the city!” and old woman exclaimed as she walked past. Naomi beamed–that was clearly the effect she was after.
“Hey, do you think there would be a lake house somewhere near Chicago where we could go for a week?” We were in the planning phase of our trip, trying to figure out a Hub Harro, and come up with a vacation plan that would be fun for all involved.
“Chicago is on Lake Michigan, honey,” my mom reminded me.
In the end my parents found a house to rent on Diamond Lake, about an hour southwest of Kalamazoo, not the big water of Lake Michigan but a warmer, tamer lake surrounded by vacation homes. My three sisters made arrangements to come, and my uncle, aunt, and cousin from Chicago came for the weekend as well. A regular family reunion!
I felt like gripping Jeremiah by the shoulders, staring him in the eyes, and declaring “THIS is why I’m the way I am. See? I’m NOT weird. For my family, this is NORMAL.”
Jeremiah and I are from the same town. I could have seen his family home across the river if the trees weren’t so thick. We’re both Americans, similar socio-economic class, each with two parents playing basically traditional roles in the household. Yet sometimes my “normal” seems so different from his “normal” that I wonder how cross-cultural marriages ever survive. The family of origin sets our expectation of how a spouse is “supposed” to act and react. And there’s nothing like a family vacation to pull that into focus.
Our parents and siblings used to all live in upstate NY, and visiting the families was relatively straight-forward. But now that the kids have grown, both our parents have gotten rid of the big family houses. Jeremiah’s folks have moved up to a cabin in the Adirondack mountains, and mine have moved to a little two bedroom in Chicago near my mom’s parents. Our siblings are scattered hither and yon. This family get-together was going to take more effort than in previous years.
We opted to try and create a “hub” for each family, and have the remaining family members come to us. The first two weeks of our trip we spent with the Harro family. We started out in a suburb of Chicago with my parents, then went to a lake house in Michigan that my parent had rented for a week, where my sisters living in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts came to meet us. Hub Harro.