The irony is, of course, that as of yesterday -- just yesterday -- B and I are living alone, just the two of us. Her older son has finally moved out, after 2 1/2 sometimes-stressful post-college years.
|Christmas will be stressful, but I hope not explosive.|
My daughter, who's in graduate school, is scheduled to arrive at our house on Christmas night. She said she's staying for three or four days. She'd arranged this a while ago. My son, who lives in New York City, said he'd like to come out to visit while his sister is here.
B's older son now has his own apartment. But her younger son is coming home from college, and he'll be here for two weeks. And then B invited her sister to come for Christmas. B and her sister and their mother have always gotten together for a few days sometime around Christmas. This year B wanted her sister to make the trip to visit us, since B has to work the week between Christmas and New Year's.
B's sister just emailed us this morning to say, great, she'll be arriving on Christmas night, and they'll stay for three days. And the good news is that, this time, her husband will come with her (he usually doesn't). And also their brother decided to come as well. And then -- icing on the cake -- their other brother in Boston decided he and his wife should come down to join the party, although they'll only stay one day and they'll spend the night in a hotel.
I had suggested to B that maybe she should call her sister, and tell her the situation -- that if they come for the three days after Christmas, the house will be very crowded and someone will have to sleep on the floor. (No, B's sister and her husband do not stay at a hotel ... don't ask.) Maybe, instead, they could come for a couple of days before Christmas, or sometime the next weekend, for New Year's, after my kids had left.
For some reason, B does not want to do that. But even assuming we figure out the sleeping arrangements, I'm not happy that my kids are going to be here, trying to visit with me, when the house is overrun with B's family. Won't that be awkward? Won't that make my kids feel as like it's not their home at all -- but this other family's home where their dad just happens to share a room?
To be fair, B's family is very nice. I've met them all, and they are friendly and accommodating (which is why I thought they'd accommodate a slight change in their plans). But I'm afraid they'll just engulf the house, overrun the place, and make it their family Christmas, and my own kids and I will be pushed aside -- footnotes to the festivities. And I don't want my kids to be footnotes to the family. They are just as important as her kids, even if they don't spend nearly as much time here.
I dunno, I keep telling myself to be fair; to be considerate of B, to welcome her family and we can all have fun together. But, honestly, I'm a little pissed off that she won't even try to reschedule things. She cannot bear the thought of asking her sister to change any plans, of inconveniencing her family. My family just has to fit in around her schedule.
But I'm still trying to look at the bright side. Maybe we can all play table tennis. We have a Ping Pong table in the basement, and all the guys play. (Why is it girls don't like table tennis -- or is it just in my family?) The two best players in the crowd are my son, and B's brother in law. They've never met, and I wouldn't mind seeing them go head-to-head. See who would win.