Now that we live in a tiny apartment, in a dorm, on a college campus, it is much harder to have my parents visit. Gone is the guest room, and the guest bathroom, and the three floors, and the loads and loads and loads of space to stretch out. Gone is the ease to have visitors. A year and a half in, this is the thing I miss most about our old house.
You’ve gotta really love someone, and be willing to let a lot go, in order to spend overnight visits co-existing together in a space as small as ours. It is sort of like spending a few nights on a sailboat together… except, there is no vast open sea all around you, boat deck to sunbath on, or the adventure of yachting to justify the cramped corners. I appreciate my parents’ sheer willingness, and our family of five’s emotional capacity, to allow for us to still have visits despite our current home being so non-conducive to guests. It is a joint effort and a reciprocal relationship that makes it in any way possible.
And then… for this particular visit… add to it all…. SNOW. More and more and more snow just keeps piling up this winter. Keeping us stuck inside. And I’m about to lose my mind. Having overnight guests (even if they are your own parents), in a 750 square foot apartment, during yet another snow event… well, it takes ‘cabin fever’ to a whole other level.
MorMor arrived Tuesday afternoon. MorFar arrived Friday morning. They both left Saturday afternoon. The snow dominated pretty much the entire time they were here.
I had been greatly anticipating my mom’s visit, and had planned so much fun stuff for us to do. Almost none of it actually happened on account of snow. It is enough to push a hostess over the edge. (I consider it no small feat of victory, and also a testament to my unusually good relationship with my mother, that I only came close to — but did not, in fact — go over the edge).
The visit was bookended by two things that actually went as planned. And, glory glory hallelujah, those were the two most important things where the bambinos are concerned:
- I had planned for MorMor to be Mystery Reader in Meera’s kindergarten class. It happened Wednesday, and it was absolutely such a sweet, sweet thing. Meera was so thrilled and surprised to have MorMor show up, and MorMor did a fabulous job with it. It could not have gone more perfectly.
- We had planned the visit so that MorMor and MorFar could go to one of Kyle and Owen’s basketball games. It happened Saturday, and it was such a thrill for the boys to have MorMor and MorFar see them play. It was such a thrill, in fact, that they actually played the worst that they have all year… and even confessed later that they had been so distracted by trying to impress their special audience in the stands that they “totally flubbed it up” (their words). But it was very special, for all involved, nonetheless.
Everything in between those two good bookends was all about the snow. School was cancelled. Plans were cancelled. Everything was cancelled. We basically hunkered down with SNOW snow SNOW. My mom got to experience a real live string of J-M snow days. She also helped ease the pain of it all by making us a rare and special treat — a delicious homemade almond coffee bread. That is something only a MorMor would do. And it was much appreciated by all five J-Ms (and a couple of lucky students too, who got to help eat the leftovers).
Toward the end we did manage to get out of the house. On Valentine’s Day we had the bambinos’ favorite— Kome Hibachi lunch (for K & O), and YoFresh dessert (for M). The picture below totally cracks me up— you can barely see it in the photo, but I looked over and saw that my mother and my daughter were unselfconsciously sitting in exactly the same precise positions — perfect posture, ankles crossed, hands together in their laps. If my grandmother had been there she too would have been sitting in exactly that same precise position — I’d bet my life on it. I don’t even know how to fully process that tri-generational-fact.
The highlight of the visit, for me, was a lot of quality downtime with my mom and dad. Nothing went as I had planned it. But I got everything I wanted out of the visit.