Sunday, October 23, 2011

Family time

I spent a good part of the afternoon pumpkin carving with my grandchildren, my niece, my son, my ex-son-in-law, my ex-wife, and her first ex-husband (and current paramour).  It was a nice afternoon, but a little strange because of the combo.

Because you don't want the little ones using the little saws and little knives you use for pumpkin carving, it was adults doing the carving.  And as often happens on the ex-wife's side of things, the alcohol came out.  It was just beer, and everyone who drinks the stuff (which does not include me) stayed relatively sober.  I'm thinking the fear of removing an appendage might have helped that along.

But it reminded me of my younger times.  We did not ever carve pumpkins when I was younger, but there were other family occasions like the one I was just in, only the alcohol signaled the beginning of bad times.  My father would act odd or look bad.  My mother would get angry and frustrated.  And everyone would suffer, because, as the saying goes, "if Mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy."

The truly sad part about it all is that it was entirely preventable.  Yes, of course if my dad had not had the beer in the first place.  But also if my mother had just realized that she was not in charge of the rest of the world in general and my father in specific.  I mean, in all honesty, my dad when he was drunk would at first get stupid and hard to understand and then eventually if unprovoked he would just fall to sleep.

I know that others had more belligerent or cruel alcoholics in their lives and that even a peaceful drunk is still a drunk, but it just seemed a little kindness and a little remembering what you could and could not have controlled could have saved us from some misery (and me from a therapist's bill).


Here is one happy mama!

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