Last night with the grandparents

Today is Chris’s parents’ last full day in New York with us before they leave to go back home. It’s sad to think that their month-plus long trip to the US has already come and gone so quickly. Every day as I get older, time seems to fly faster and faster, and I always feel like I want to hit a pause button just to relish the seconds and minutes a little longer. I’m even more cognizant of this now with little Kaia, seeming to grow more rapidly as each day passes.

I was sitting on the couch this evening, listening to Chris and his parents banter back and forth about healthcare in Australia and its pros and cons, and comparing this to the healthcare situation here in the U.S. and how dismal it is. And as I was listening to this half discussion, half debate, my mind went back to thinking about my own parents and our lack of ability to have even half of a discussion like this in a productive way. Chris’s parents will happily sit there and talk about why lamb is embraced in Western China but not in Eastern China. They will talk about the evolution of language and why different languages are spoken across China and India and how that came to be. My parents? We can’t really have many intelligent or productive conversations about almost anything. All our conversations are mundane, gossipy (usually because my mom brings up something inane), or about the everyday like eating or work or the baby, or flat out arguments or lectures. And even those everyday conversations are frustrating because my mom always comes at it from the angle that she knows everything because she has more wisdom than I do, and therefore I need to listen to her, otherwise “You will face consequences… because kids who are disobedient to their parents will be punished by Jehovah.” That was a constant threat and admonishment that Ed and I heard over and over from the time my mom started studying to be a Jehovah’s Witness since my freshman year in high school.

It’s not nice to compare, but it’s only natural to compare because for the longest time, I just thought the way my parents were would be how EVERYONE’S parents would be. Because you only know what you know, right? And as I gradually started making more friends and meeting other people and their families, plus interacting with those family members, I realized that I was in an unhealthy situation with mentally unstable, paranoid, and immature parents, and not everyone else had the same situation.

I want my baby to have a happy, healthy relationship with Chris and me and all her family members. I want her to know and love them, and know that we all love her unconditionally. But honestly, I have no idea what kind of relationship, if any, she will have with my parents.

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