I have a strange family. Our dysfunction is prominent – we lead with it. In K’s family, it’s hidden, shellacked under layers of happy family memories. The K Family Legacy of Crazy is there, and it’s prominent, but it’s not as evil as that which is wired into my nervous system. In the competition between families, mine definitely wins the prize for most perverse.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the lacking of an immediate family has it’s perks. Off the top of my head, I don’t have to buy as many Christmas presents. When my family was cracking up, the rest of my family ended up taking sides – not to be mean, but because the coast away from my parents was less ridden with land mines. No one else is as silent as I am, but we’ll all talk to L&M (the parents) at family events like funerals. We don’t do Sunday dinners or Christmas cards or parties.
There’s one person, however, that chose to have both. And I admire her desire to have both. If only she did it better… On Sunday, she asked me if she could tell my mom – that it wasn’t fair that I wouldn’t tell my mother. To be honest, I’m a little secretly delighted that my batshit mom will find out through some friend-of-a-friend. She’s not a happy person and I have no desire to share my joy with her. Plus, it would be downright weird.
“Mom? Hi. It’s your daughter.”
“Yeah, I know we haven’t talked in six years, but um…”
“I’m pregnant. You’re going to be a grandmother. Except not.
Because I will die before you get near my child.”
I talked with the family member who wanted to spill the beans, and it didn’t go particularly well. I know she loves me. She just doesn’t understand what it’s like to have L&M as parents.
I knew this would come up. I didn’t realize that someone so close to me would be the one bringing it up, but I knew that my mother would find out. She likes to be a martyr, and this will just be one more nail in her cross. Goodness! Think of the NAMI fundraising letters she can write now! (oof, now that’s another post for another day…)
Instead of feeling shaken, instead of feeling like L&M might descend and wreak havoc on my home, I’m feeling strong. There’s absolutely nothing they can do to my family. I have joy in my life; my home is happy. I have a strong, beautiful marriage. I have a healthy fetus. I’m rocking the pants off the first trimester and I’m doing really well without my medication.
I have everything.