Since about ten o'clock yesterday morning, I have felt the need of a good cry. I have held off, hoping for some private moment to let it all hang out: loud sobbing sadness and frustration, hiccuping satisfaction. In the meantime, I've given a lot of thought to what this melancholy is all about.
I don't know about your family, but when mine gets together, whether it's my children, my husband, and I or my father and siblings, it seems to me that we revert to childhood roles. No matter what degree of mental health and happiness we've achieved in real life, we fall right back into the shyness, silliness, pestering, ugliness, stupidity, fill-in-the-blank-here-inadequacy we felt when we were young.
What I felt most this weekend was that I was annoying the hell out of a few key people. And what annoyed them, it seemed to me, was that I wanted to share things with them. Things I learned from blogs, things I was doing with my writing, random thoughts. And every time I got this signal that they didn't give a fizzy fug about anything I was saying, I felt sad. And boring. And yes, annoying.
What is this about for me? That when I was a child, my mother and father weren't good listeners, distracted with themselves, their work, their troubles? I don't know about all the psychological mumbo jumbo that adds up to how I've felt these past few days, but I do know that it has made me long to be with people who don't necessarily agree with me or share my interests, but are respectful enough to let me have my say, brag a little on what's going on in my life, share a story or two.
I don't usually get this personal in my blog, but you saw the pictures and it all looked great, didn't it? And there were some incredible moments, like at dinner when we each turned to the person beside us and told her what we loved about her. And when we faced off in pairs, jumped up and down and went WHOO WHOO WHOO until the room exploded into belly laughs. Or when I took each of my three daughters out separately and caught up on their comings and goings.
When I said good-bye to the sister whose birthday it was, I cried a little then. I laughed and told her that I'd read somewhere, "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." Now that I'm home, where I feel pretty good about myself and my life, I think I'll work on that smile. I'm always grateful for the time I spend with my family, our health, and our memories, and I'm going to dwell on that now that I've had a chance to speak of how I felt. Thanks for listening.