It's not often I get to go shopping (a.k.a. browsing), so when my sister called Friday and asked if I could meet her and the girls Friday I was thrilled. There were several things I wanted to look at, and thought this would be the great opportunity to have bonding time with my nieces.
hahahahahahaha What was I thinking?
Gone are the days when my nieces were predictable little people whose personalities were blatantly obvious and they were very easy to shop with and for. Deja vu to the '80's where I exasperated my mother to no end, only this time I was in the adult shoes. I didn't have any objection to anything the girls picked out or wanted to try on; they did a great job of choosing modest clothes that met their own personal sense of style. And there's part of the rub...I can't quite figure that style out. If I get the "look" right, the colors would be wrong, etc. They weren't rude or snobby about it, but I could tell by the facial expression that Aunt Monica was Soooo out of touch. And after almost three hours of standing in line, fighting traffic, and observing, and getting a headache, I had yet to look at one thing I was interested in. I noticed my sister didn't look for anything. Talk about an eye opener! I knew my life was scheduled, but I had never realized how, well, selfish it is. I enjoyed the day; I learned a few things about my nieces, but I also had to constantly focus my mind on the girls as people with individual wants, personalities, and needs. Today when I spent part of my time shopping my youngest niece, I was reminded again of the change, and realized how quickly that day is coming/has come when she will no longer be thrilled with what I predict she wants, for her developing personality will be trying out new things and changing.
I don't want to be a stuck-in-the mud person. But I also recognize for us to maintain a somewhat sane balance in life's rat race, we must stick to our rigid schedule. Bobby's disability and my stretch for some semblance of order demands it. And yet somewhere in this structure, I also recognize the need to flex myself in ways that aren't happening. People with large families develop that flexibility as there are multiple personalities to contend with. In our household, there's just two people to make happy: me and my husband. And most of the time that's fairly simple. Six weeks out of the year when the kids come, that dynamic changes considerably. And I struggle - bad. I want my life back in order, I want my job back in order, I want my relationship with my husband back in order....I want, I want, I want. We're supposed to be thinking about New Year's Resolutions, which I quit doing many years ago, but I'm contemplating that maybe some changes are in order. Having kids in the house for 6 weeks should make me realize how selfish I am...but a shopping trip? Guess I've got more to work on than I wanted to admit.