That's just what I had this weekend.... a rehearsal of things to come at Christmas. My youngest daughter was here for the weekend (the same one that just had the car accident and by some miracle suffered only minor injuries). I love this girl dearly and was happy to have her here..... well sort of. Part of it was pure happiness for me as I watched her doing something that gives her JOY!!! And I mean great joy..... this adult daughter of mine who has fought with severe depression, an eating disorder and at times "0" self esteem..... sparkle with joy! It was amazing to watch and sure warmed my heart. I haven't seen her this happy in a long, long time.
You see she's found her "passion" ..... being a photographer specializing in families, babies and pets. She was here because she had 5 shooting sessions schedule for yesterday and today. All outdoor family Christmas pictures and one newborn indoor shoot. To me her pictures are awesome ... but I do have an emotional investment so I'm not sure you can trust my word. However people are paying her for her services and some of these people are repeat customers. She can't quit her day job but it must make her feel good to have someone value what you do enough to pay you for it!!!!
So that's the good news. The bad news......... aaaaaaaaaack........... she stayed here this weekend. Oh I have spent an enormous time building healthy boundaries between us and for the most part I feel that we've reached a good point in our relationship. It's almost the opposite of what it was like in those years before sobriety. That was like living in a nightmare. But I digress. She found all those buttons I was sure I'd gotten rid of or had carefully hidden. Bing, bing, bing.....it was like a mid-way game.... bells were going off left, right and center. How quickly I had forgotten how her quirks and her thinking patterns can get on my nerves. The fact that she had her dog with her, to which my little dog felt inclined to “keep in line”, didn’t help much either. Was I going to let those “things” that really don’t matter spoil a perfectly good visit?
No. I had to keep telling myself to “let it go”…. her irritating habits weren’t worth the upset (no doubt I have a few that set her off as well). I understood that it was time that I finally accept her just the way she is … and enjoy her happiness with her. She was only here for a limited amount of time, not setting up a permanent residence. Surely I’ve grown up enough to be able to look beyond those petty things. I won’t say it was easy but I can say that as time went on it did get easier. And what a great learning opportunity for me.
Come Christmas, when not only she but her boyfriend, her sister and my mother will be here, I’ll be prepared to see all as “who” they are, not what they do. It’s a big lesson to learn that people do not do things on purpose to upset us. No, instead it’s our reaction or thoughts about their actions that cause the upset. We are all unique but we are all also family. This is a time to share in each other’s company. It’s a time to put aside all those petty grievances and just “be”. There is good in all of us and it will be the perfect time to look for and see that.
So yes, I’m grateful for the “Rehearsal” this past weekend. Now when all the busy-ness that comes with Christmas is upon us I can remember what I realized and thank God for my wonderful and unique family. We can all be together and experience the wonder and joy that comes with the celebration of the birth of a very special baby.