Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Birthday Party

When we were blindsided on Mothers' Day by the fact that VeeGee's birthmom was coming for the weekend of VeeGee's birthday, we had not really made any plans for the day or the weekend. And it took us a few days of agonizing (up all night) discussions to figure out what exactly to do. My beef is that 1) she did not call us at all (still hasn't) to discuss whether or not this was a good time, whether we were planning to even be in town - instead letting her grandparents know her plans, 2) we had not really planned to do much - maybe go swimming or something at my dads, or go out to a small lake for VeeGee's first ride in the canoe (I got a great deal on a VeeGee-sized lifejacket at Sam's!). We frankly don't have the money to have a party right now. But, 3) and really, most importantly, I don't want bmom to assume a claim on that day forever (or on Christmas - as she also clearly feels entitled to). VeeGee is my daughter. I'm NOT a permanent babysitter (as it seems these people believe me to be - even with all their shallow flattery of the "great job" I'm doing with VeeGee).

I understand that there is, definitely, and unseverable relationship between VeeGee and her bmom, one that did start on VeeGee's birthday. And I will do everything I can to make sure that VeeGee both understands and honors that relationship. At the same time, we are a new family, VeeGee, K and me. Just us. How we spend our time with each other and on our holidays shouldn't have to be frought with (suprise!) contingencies outside of our family life. It feels really unfair (to my basest self) and inconsiderate (less base) and unmanageable for bmom et al to assume a claim on VeeGee's (ergo my/K's) time.

I also understand that VeeGee and K's (and bmom's) blood family is the type that kind of flies by the seat of their pants in terms of making time commitments. For example, if I say, "We're planning a dinner party on August 8th, would you like to come?" The universal family response would be, "We'll see." They don't understand the need for pre-planning, for concrete obligations, none of that. It makes me utterly crazy. And the upshot is that we may, forever, be dealing with their whims about just showing up (or not). I truly believe that they don't get (or are dismissive of) my need to know what the heck's going on. I mean, I really do have concrete plans all the way through October. No joke (and I might not even be remembering them all). Now, that may make me kind of weird, but, guess what ?! - it's MY family and it's how WE operate. I've learned to leave some open space for K, because he does come from that place of no committments, but that open space is almost always reserved for just us.

So, anyway. After several days of agonizing over what we should do (and still not having heard from bmom!), we decided to throw a party. It'll be a stretch financially, but I decided that I needed as many people around me for that day as possible. People who know/understand/support my relationship with VeeGee. I know that may seem selfish, but, well, there ya go. I mean, these are people with children and VeeGee will be BESIDE HERSELF to get to be with all of her friends at the same time. I'm looking forward to seeing how she reacts to this plentitude of friends (whom she begs for every day!).

I've told many of the guests that bmom will be there, in part to explain in advance any strangeness in my behavior, and also so that they won't be shocked to see this person that many of them perceive as a villain. I know (or I guess) that it's my fault that she would be perceived as such, but it's really hard to give anyone the full picture of this person who neglected VeeGee to the point that the state had to step in, particularly when they're MY friends who've stood beside ME during this adventure. They don't know her full life story like I do - and even I (as you know, dear reader) have a hard time forgiving her.

I sent out invitations (over a month in advance) and sent bmom one as well for the party, which we decided to hold the day before her birthday. I needed it to be at my initiation - not hers. She's (!) coming. And I think her father (K's step-father) is as well.

And on the day of her birthday, we're going to just be the three of us, with, perhaps, the addition of my little brother (aka The King of Birthday Celebrations!). At any rate, whatever we do, it will be our idea.


Jennifer said...

Wow. I can't even begin to understand the many emotions that go into the journey you are on. I appreciate the eloquent glimpse. I'm sorry that you feel treated as a "permanent babysitter" that must be extremely painful as a mother. I do hope all goes well at the party. VeeGee certainly deserves it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good plan. How awesome of you to compromise and accommodate her...I can't say I'd be big enough to do the same...either way, what a bunch of bull you've had to put up with! MASSIVE denial!!