Mess Cat is back in town.
I am ecstatic. And relieved. And so happy.
Today was the first day since my sister and her family moved back home that they’ve let themselves slow down. Forget about packing, cleaning up their old house, meeting service people at the new house, unpacking, making decisions about where to put what, assessing what still needs to be done…..today they put all that aside and relaxed. Just for a little while.
We met for a fun lunch at the pizza place that is quickly becoming “our” place to hang out with family and friends. We skipped the Game Room (insert huge sigh of relief here), because we had much more fun ahead of us. After a leisurely lunch of stuffing ourselves silly with pizza, salad, and dessert pizza, we walked next door to the movie theater to see “Despicable Me 2.” (Remember last night I told you my record of two years not seeing a movie at the theater was coming to an end? Well today it did.) I was glad I took my “carry around in my van” sweater in with me, as it was very cold in there. Just wish I had worn shoes other than flip flops. My feet were freezing by the time we left.
Oh but the fun. The movie was entertaining, and how good it was to sit and laugh with the very people whom I’ve cried with so much over the past few years. I mean belly-bustin’ laughs. If you’ve seen it, did you see the “Isaac” from Love Boat reference? That cracked me up. And when they played “YMCA” I thought our little guy was going to jump out of his seat. That’s his new favorite song y’all. He plays it over and over and dances his little heart out over that one. In that moment, seeing delight and recognition all over his face, it was perfection.
I came home full. My heart was full. In a good place. I was thinking about how relaxed I felt and wondering why. I mean, I came home to a clean full dishwasher and another load’s worth in the sink and laundry that always needs doing. (When I finally get all the clean ones off the couch, the crew wants to know who’s coming over.) So it wasn’t that I’d reached a point that I’d earned a day off. I couldn’t put my finger on it, and then I remembered the laughter. And sitting next to my sister, not trying so hard to savor it until the next time as I usually do, but instead enjoying it and anticipating so many more times like this–knowing it could now happen on just about any given day. She and my big brother (BIL) and nephew are like my favorite cozy blankets on a gray winter day. Comfortable, comforting, and reassuring. They are family and dear friends. All the best of each all rolled into one.
We’ve spent so much time over the past four years with them making the trip back and forth–two and a half hours each way…..on a good traffic and rain free day. Making that trip, trying to pack in as much as they could in their time here–first with Daddy, then helping Mama, and then during Mama’s HospitalStay, and finally house hunting so they could come “home.” And now all of that is over. There are still a few things left that will keep the trip up north a part of their lives, but now they’re driving in the right direction. My sister laughed about driving back to work on their old house up there yesterday–finally on a Saturday she didn’t hit traffic either way–and that was because she was headed in the opposite direction of what she usually travels on both trips.
Today we were all relaxed. The only time restraint was the movie schedule, and hey, if we missed the 2:15 there was another one shortly after. We had no intense conversations about anyone’s health or estate business or decisions that MUSTBEMADENOW. It was laughter and getting up and down for pizza and choosing seats in a movie theater and walking in the drizzle from one to the other. It was children’s eyes lit up with laughter and wonder and laughing ourselves, appreciating the humor put in just for us. It was–GOOD.
And because it was good, I’m thinking I will sleep well tonight. I hope so. That’s something that doesn’t come easily anymore. I learned something today from the movie. Without giving anything away I hope, I learned that a little sweet can turn a monster into a cutie pie. And I think I saw that today–it was a sweet day, no tension, no anxiety, just good stuff. And tonight, I find myself not my usual “get in the bed, PLEASE!” Mama Monster, but a whole lot more relaxed.
For that, we are all thankful.
2013 just took a turn for the better. Finally. Welcome home, Mess Cat and Family. Today was a first of many, and that makes me happy happy happy.