Friday, July 28, 2006

Finally, another update (while all the cool kids are at BlogHer)

Okay, I am sponging off of a neighbor's wi-fi just to write this, so I'll have to put the rest of the trip into one long-ish post, but let me sum up the trip to Fayetteville and Charlotte by sharing these three observations:

1) No matter how much I love the Matics-in-law and no matter how much trouble they have gone to to make a fabulous stay for us (renting a crib, totally babyproofing the house, scoping out parks/museums/etc), three days is still the limit for in-law visits.

2) The Airborne/Special Ops Museum in Fayetteville is a WONDER. Seriously. If you're stuck in the big Fay for a few hours, check it out. It's Smithsonian-quality, IMHO, and you can find t-shirts that say "HOO AH." Here are some pix:

Anybody seen the keys to this baby? I'm just going to pull it into the garage.

Um, General Yarborough? Asia's going to be hell for a while after the Vietnam Conflict, so trust me when I tell you that you might be needing this.

Excuse me, sir. May I have one of those? I've been a very good boy. Also, can you remove this protective plexiglass?

Oh, I am SO making a break for it. That big ole gun is mine, suckas.

Dude, even the exhbits play peek-a-boo here. Awesome.

Daddy, daddy, wait up. Small legs. Can't keep up. Besides, the gardens here at the museum are lovely, don't you agree?

3) If you get mad at your mentally handicapped SIL, even if you have very good reasons, like the fact that she sometimes acts more like a manipulative toddler than your own offspring does and then watches you lose it with your hitting, squirming, fire-spitting toddler and then says to her mother within your earshot that "You know what, mom? *I* will be patient and calm when MY baby acts up," you will feel like the biggest. jerk. ever. There is no way around it. Especially when you remember that she won't ever get to test that promise she's just made. Yes, wanting to throttle someone who is 27 but has the mental function of someone half her age is akin to, as Anne Lamott puts it, "bitch-slapping E.T." There is no help for it. Let the self-loathing begin.

4) Ditto the above for your 88-year-old grandmother. You just can't be mad at someone who's old and not doing terribly well without hating yourself. Even when you schlep your tot over to see her almost every single day in the horrid heat, in the car with no A/C, and your mother hosts her every other night for dinner, she complains that it's not enough. You will hate yourself for being irritated by this, because you know deep down that she's right--it's not ever going to be enough. In so, so, so many ways. I wish D could get to know the Nana I knew as a kid, but he can't. The only thing that softens the sadness that I feel is knowing that they did have some good times together, and he will remember her, if nothing else, as the cool old lady with the funny bicycle (she uses a wheeled walker, and he went nuts for it). When the tension between my almost-painful love for and my almost-painful frustration with my Nana got too much for me, though, I remembered my friend E speculating that maybe older people become ornery because it's easier to let them go when it's their time. Dunno.

5) My parents absolutely have to move to Utah. As in NOW. D loves them fiercely and it was all I could do to coax him away with me when it was time to head to da SLC. So I've informed my new town that the GrandMatics will be in town starting 8/7 and I expect everything to go perfectly while they're here. Meals on the house. No traffic. Primo parking and free admission everywhere. Cooler temperatures. A pony for my mom and an RV for my dad. You know, basic stuff.

I promise tomorrow I'll sponge again (it's a victimless crime, DM keeps telling me) and send my impressions of da SLC...