The Nothing

My mother in law is staying with me for the next three weeks, and you all know what THAT means.

Nothing.

Not one fat fucking thing, that's what it means. Well, except that I'm lonely.

See, my mother in law and I have never had the best of relationships. We've gone from 'Maybe you're gonna be the one to save me' to 'Mortal Kombat' to 'Half a world away' and yes, I realize that those three things aren't the same, and therefore make for a pretty weak analogy, but I also don't thing Analogy is what I'm going for here but I went to high school and this is a personal blog which is, like, one ill-placed semi-colon away from; being a rough draft, so whatever.

We liked each other moderately, then we wanted to beat each other's brains out with a herring, and then I moved to a different country and she moved to a different continent.

Does the possessive plural of other need an apostrophe?

Can you tell I've been doing a LOT of 4th grade catch-up homework lately?

And that the last time I was asleep, it was for three hours, and it happened 19 hours ago?

So, she moved back from Africa after 2 1/2 years and then came to see us in Canada for a few weeks. And we both acted like complete assholes during the whole lead-up to that visit, because we have drama between us and we're, um, the exact same person and it annoys the fuck out of both of us? Yeah, that's about right.

But like they say, or at least he says, the anticipation of death is worse than death itself and once she was here, we realized that we'd actually both grown up ever so slightly and that we not only could co-exist without the world ending, we could even enjoy it a little.

So this time she came for three weeks over Christmas and New Year's, and no one is the least bit worried about it. I'm letting her wash the dishes, which is one of those things my 'I don't need you' pride and my 'My momma dropped me too many times' stupidity kept me from ever letting her do before. She's letting me cook for her and not apologizing or over-thanking me for it.

There is balance in our lives. It only took 14 years.

She and 3of3 were playing hide and seek, and she walked right in on me in my bathroom while I was only wearing what my momma gave me, and my momma is slightly smaller than one of your average freeways, so what she gave me isn't actually fit to be seen in the light of day by the guy I'm banging, let alone his mother.

But there she was in the entry and there I was in front of the Wall of Mirrors, so she pretty much had Full Monty, and I almost but didn't exactly so much as bat an eye. Because for one millisecond I wanted to, but then I remembered her standing over me, holding a thigh in the air, spending the better part of an hour watching someone who looks slightly like her worm his way out of the one place goddammit she told her son to stay away from because this is exactly the sort of things that happens when you dumb kids get drunk unsupervised.

She's seen me in worse conditions, that's all I'm saying.

And we're at that point where we can look back over these past 14 years and sort of laugh off a good deal of it, because our priorities in life are changing and it's not so important to feel right anymore, or we're both just too old for this shit.

So she asked to come for three weeks, and I thought that would be absolutely lovely, and then I accepted three days of meetings at work. 2,000 miles away from home. I'm not THAT reformed.

So I've left my children alone with my mother in law for four days while I gallivant across the west coast over what are the first full days I've spent without my children in six months. And I don't feel the least bit bad about it, because I've been with them EVERY DAY STRAIGHT FOR SIX MONTHS and she hasn't seen them in over a year and I needed to take this trip 2 months ago to catch up and mother in laws are supposed to help you with your kids when you need them, right? And I'm finally comfortable enough with her to ask her to do this for me, and not grovel or over-explain it.

And here I sit in my pretty little hotel room with a great big bed that doesn't have a 4 year old that got kicked out of her room for the next three weeks so Gramma could have some privacy in it, and my clothes are hanging up on hangars, not scrunched in the corner of the closet because the kids' stuff needs a proper space, and my makeup/jewelry/stuff I'm not born with is lined in on the bathroom counter where I can just grab whatever I need, whenever I need it, and not have to dig through 15 Dora backpacks to try & find my q-tips and it's perfectly quiet here.

There is silence in my life for the first time in 6 months. There is deafening silence surrounding me. I can sit at a desk and actually work, I can lay in my bed and actually sleep, all because my mother in law got the balls to just ask for what she wanted, and I grew the balls to do the same.

And I'd give anything to be home with them all right now. Someone punch me in the face until I come back to reality, please.