In other news, I suck at life. I always sort of knew this, but yesterday I got confirmation, from of all people, my mother. In her defense, she wasn't trying to be mean. But I kind of wish I hadn't gone over to her house.
I took Shannon and Kylie over to my parent's house yesterday to finish their Pinewood Derby cars. The derby is this coming Wednesday night, at the Awana church thing they go to with my mom. Shannon is what they call an L.I.T., or leader in training. This is one of the last things I would have ever expected Shannon to enjoy, but I think she just likes helping out with the little kids. Anyway, the L.I.T.s get to race derby cars also. My dad cuts the cars out on his bandsaw, or whatever that thing is called. Then the girls paint them, put stickers on them, etc.
While we were there yesterday, my mom pulled out some pictures that my brother had emailed to her and she had printed out. There were a couple of my adorable 2 year-old niece, Makenzie. The rest of them, however, were construction pictures of the ginormous house that my brother and SIL are building in North Carolina. I flipped through those without really looking, because really? I'm very happy for them and all, but enough already with the house. I've been hearing about it for what seems like forever. My brother used to own a condo in Virginia, near Washington D.C., which I guess is a pretty expensive area. So for what they were able to sell their condo for, you can build a ginormous house in the Raleigh/Durham area. Great. So I'm quickly flipping the pictures, but my mother wants to go more slowly, and show Shannon what all the different rooms are. Cue me rolling my eyes and sighing. So my mother says to Shannon:
"Your mother's jealous that her brother can afford a new house", or something like that. Ok, well she's right...but do we need to say that to my daughter? I think it's that old people Lack of a Filter thing working on her again. Just because something comes into your head, does it really need to come out of your mouth? I think not.
This seemed to open the floodgates for the "pick on Shelley" time. Shannon just happened to notice an alarm thing on the wall near the ceiling in my mother's house. It's round, about 8 inches in diameter, brown with a gold circle in the middle. I don't know how she's never seen it before...there's another one in the living room. Anyway, she asked my mom what it was. My mom tells her that it's a heat alarm. Like a smoke detector, except it detects heat instead of smoke. They had them put in when I was a kid. Then my mom goes on to tell Shannon that they put those in because of me. Because I was petrified of fire when I was young. Like about 8 years old or so, maybe 9. Ok, seriously? I remember being scared of fire, and I used to worry myself sick about the house catching on fire. I don't know why. Our heat was electric, not gas...it's not cold enough here for space heaters, we didn't live in an old house with old wiring...really there was no reason for me to be so scared of it, call it a phobia. I still don't really like it. But you really spent all that money to put the heat alarms in because of me? Smoke detectors weren't enough? Was I less scared after the heat alarms went in? I don't even remember.
I had a lot of fears as a kid, and I don't know why. My dad was a chronic worrier (still is), and he seems to have passed that on to me. Learned, or genetic? I have no idea. But while he worried about stupid, mundane, perfectionist crap, at least I worry about important things like my family's health, money, and money. And how we're going to send Danni to college. Oh, I guess that would fall under the whole money thing.
So then, for no reason at all, my mom decides to also tell Shannon that they took the palm trees out of the front yard because of me. Because during monsoon season, I was always afraid that they were going to break and fall onto the house. Somehow, I don't see this as unreasonable. Let me tell you about these palm trees. There were two of them in our front yard, about 15 feet in front of the house. These things were about 30 feet tall, and about 2 feet in diameter near the top. So yes, extremely tall and extremely skinny. They looked kind of like this:
During monsoon storms in the summer, where we can get winds up around 60 mph, those things would bend over so far they were practically sideways. So of course, it's totally unreasonable for a 8 to 10 year-old child to be afraid that they might break and fall on the house. Completely crazy and irrational. So when they were building a new mall here, some guys came around with a truck, looking for people who would be willing to let them use their palm trees to put at the new mall. While normally you would have to pay someone to come and take your palm trees out, these guys wanted to pay you $5 each to let them have the trees. So at that point, they got rid of those trees.
Funny story to tell my daughter about me, right? Hahaha. When my kids are afraid of something, I do my best to reassure them that they are safe, if I possibly can. What the hell did my parents do when I was scared, that I was so afraid of everything? I was also afraid of the dark. Again, totally unreasonable when you're a little kid. I always had to have the hallway light on at night. They left me alone overnight in the hospital when I was 6 years old. I don't know if they weren't allowed to stay (which I can't imagine, but this was 1973, so I don't know), or if they just didn't stay. Kylie is around that age, and I can't imagine ever, ever leaving her alone overnight if she were to be in the hospital. Just thinking about that makes me want to cry. I would kick nurse ass, raise hell, and scream my lungs out at people before I would leave my 6 year-old alone alone in a hospital. I wouldn't even leave my teenagers alone overnight in the hospital. I know...bitter much?
Ok, so yesterday I learned that I was/am a neurotic mess and that I suck. It's pretty fashionable these days to blame your parents for that. Can I do that, huh? Can I? Maybe I'm over-reacting a bit. *shrug*