My dad and his (fourth, and very nice) wife are here visiting, so my blogging is taking on the nature of clandestine spy work. Well, without all the nifty cars and gadgets. Or the travel to European cities. Or the crafty disguises (although getting into pajamas and pretending to head off to bed, when I really mean to read a bunch of blogs, might serve as a good ruse). Or the cool spy names. Or the company of Jason Bourne.
So really, it’s nothing like it at all. Damn.
Still, I don’t want to reveal the existence of my blog, so I’ll have to keep resorting to super-secret rendezvous with my keyboard.
The visit has already taken on a cadence of humor, with the running joke being how Grandma J pushed Papa in front of a car rental bus at the airport last night. He did fall in front of the bus, and the fall was quite spectacular, I’m told. Grandma J stopped short to talk to someone, and he tripped over her suitcase and sprawled out flat in the road. She had the self-control not to laugh at him right then, but she’s been laughing ever since (and so have I, since the moment I heard the story…I’m prone to inappropriate laughter.).
Almost any conversation last night and this morning can come back around to something like, “Just like when Grandma J pushed me in front of the bus,” or “you’d better hope J doesn’t push you in front of a bus for saying that.”
That’s how things are for the first couple of days of a visit. There’s a lot of laughter. A few of the old family stories are dusted off and given a fresh coat of paint.
It’s not until after the first few days that the old irritations surface, and I spend a good part of the rest of a visit using my keep-the-peace skills. It’s what I do. Usually. All the while, I grit my teeth or break out into the same little patch of hives right above my left collarbone. Or eat cookies, or drink an extra glass or two of wine.
I can only assume it’s this way in a lot of families. That old company and fish, three days, rule. It only makes sense that the rule would apply to spending time with one’s family, too.
But now, it seems, I have another option, beyond stress eating and the hives. But I’ll try to avoid availing myself of it.
Yep, I’ll try, really try, not to push anyone in front of a bus. I can’t guarantee I won’t throw myself in front of one.