Friday, June 6, 2014

the annual visit

This past week, my niece, Shelbi, visited us. She is a couple years older than Raine, and this year, it was quite evident. She has matured so much over the past year, and is more teenager than child. She looks different and acts different. I don't mean that in a bad way, though. My niece has continually amazed me with what a neat kid she is, and this is just one more instance. She didn't make a big deal of her interests, or deride Raine for hers. She was still enthusiastic about participating in activities like bowling and going to the movies and an outing at White Sands. She was just more able to amuse herself than she has been in the past. None of the activities were the make-or-break of the trip.

We did some fun at-home stuff this year. We worked a puzzle. Carl and I took a turn at teaching Raine and Shelbi to play canasta. We didn't finish the game, but we all had a good time playing. Yep, all of us. After canasta, Shelbi turned up Raine's Uno cards, and we played several times over the next couple of days.

I didn't get sewing done for her this trip, although I usually do. We went to Jo-Ann's and picked up a few pieces, but the time ran out. I'll finish some pj's and a swim cover-up for her and send them to her in the mail or something.

It was really a nice visit, and I hope a portent of the teenager she will be the next few years, and the adult she will become. Lots of promise in this one.

Monday, June 2, 2014

relationship reflection

Several couples that I know have broken up recently. I am not in the middle (thank goodness) of any of them, and my point here is not to judge anything about any of their relationships. In fact it is not my purpose to talk about their relationships specifically at all, beyond mentioning them as a jumping off point for writing.

I came to the marriage thing late. I never dated much, or functioned well in those kind of relationships. I'm not particularly flirty, or sexy, or anything. I can't say I understand fully how and why people pick, keep, discard partners as they do. It certainly doesn't seem as easy or seamless as my parents' relationship seemed. I'm sure there were things there that I just didn't/couldn't see, but I still don't know what they were.

I use the relationships that I know as a guage of sorts, I guess. If other relationships can last, so can mine. When those other relationships fall by the wayside, no matter what the reason - because that isn't the important part for my comparison - when they fail, I worry about my relationship.

On one hand, I know that is not a reasonable comparison. We are not them. Our problems are not theirs, and theirs are not ours.

On the other hand, I'm not trying to get into the whys and wherefors of the relationship, its problems or its failures, only the longevity and/or demise.  What chances do we have if so-and-so failed, too?

I'm not trying to borrow trouble, although I'm sure I am, to an extent. I'm certainly not giving up because of what happens to other couples. Still, I know I'm not more special, more giving, more relationship-able than they are. So, it saddens me to hear of a couple breaking up. Even if I understand that it may be the best thing for all involved. Even if I know nothing whatever of what has transpired between them. Even though I know it has nothing to do with the fate of my own relationship, one way or the other.