Monday, February 11, 2008

mommy in the middle

pooka's party was a lot of fun. jungle java is a great place for the kids to let off steam, while the adults can have conversation. it was a lot less work than last year, and no clean-up, but there was so much sensory stimulation and shmoozing, i was still exhausted afterwards.

i think the guests responded admirably to our mandate on gifts. since this party was also a celebration of pooka's end of treatment, we asked the kids not to bring a gift for pooka, but instead a donation for the oncology clinic. (i will admit i had the ulterior motive of NOT adding to our obscene collection of junk toys.) some of the parents tried to sneak in something for pooka, but they all came through with toys and crafts for the hospital. additionally, all the kids had hand-made cards for pooka, which i thought was much more meaningful. i'm glad that it worked out as well as it did. pooka was not happy about losing out on the booty, especially after she insisted on at least looking at what she wasn't getting, but she handled it decently.

something odd happened at the party, too. i spotted a woman who looked very familiar, and she was looking at me as if she felt the same way. as we were leaving, i approached her and asked where i knew her from. she confirmed that she did, in fact, feel like she knew me, too, but after exchanging names, occupations, and several hobbies, we could not figure out how we could be acquainted. this is going to puzzle me for awhile.

gamma and grandpa came in. they haven't seen bug since october, so that was quite a treat and a surprise for them. the weekend was very busy, however, and i didn't get to spend as much time with my mom as i would have liked. i constantly felt like i had to rush through chores and errands to earn a chance to sit and just chat with her. we always have a good time together, sometimes crying as much as we laugh.

thinking about it, i realized that in some ways, i'm still a little kid, trying to get time with my parents. between my mom's visits and dinners with my dad, i get to regress a little. i don't even feel like we have to be doing anything specific, just being together. it's almost like i'm trying to complete something that was left unfinished. but are you ever really finished being your parents' child?

now i realize that i need to spend more time with my kids, so that when they become grown, they can move on with their lives, instead of trying to recapture a relationship they didn't have. and yet, i hope that even when they are grown they will still want to spend time with me, without needing to spend time with me. i think that would be the mark of a job well done.