I've been home for a couple of days now, and it occurs to me, I'm really quite stressed out.
Family get-togethers usually follow a pretty standard script: Mum invests huge amounts of time and effort into putting on the best event possible, with lots of yummy food and meticulous cleaning and setup. However, managing all of this stresses her out, she falls behind schedule, and any bit of resistance or second-guessing from anyone else infuriates her. Dad gets stressed out by the fact that things are running late, and starts expressing some not-so-helpful opinions. Mike and Mum never play especially well together, and some disagreement eventually blows up into a bit of a falling out.
In the end, the heartache subsides, and everyone enjoys the event, is terribly well fed and well entertained.
So, I'm kind of waiting for all that to happen today, while hoping against hope that it doesn't. It's almost 4:00 and all's well so far.
There's a big change to the recipe this time. Mum's party is being catered, so there's been no frantic food preparation. The caterers will show up shortly before the event, food in hand, to set up, they'll serve during the party, and they'll take away the dirty dishes with them.
The other thing weighing on my mind is Granny Maro, who has been living with my parents since December. Her memory is failing quite seriously, leaving Mum responsible for thinking for two. It's really hard on her, and going through the same situation with her own mother took a huge toll on Granny.
This afternoon we were looking through some photos, and Granny wasn't recognizing Lis (Mike's wife), and kept thinking that Mum was Lena (Granny's sister). It seems like she has the most trouble with most recent memories, and so probably Mum now looks like how she best remembers Lena. I corrected her a few times, but each time she'd forget again after a couple of minutes.
It's really tough to watch. I remember Granny Maro as being really quick, and having little trouble keeping up with her two rambunctious grandkids, in spite of the language barrier.
It's still mostly fun to be around her, though. She responds so well to us; she doesn't say a lot, but you can tell she's practically oozing love.