Today my husband and I should be celebrating our 32nd anniversary. We've been planning a nice dinner out, just the two of us, for a few weeks now. This doesn't seem like too much to ask once a year. But evidently it is.
From the time the youngest grand/daughter arrived home from school, I've heard the never-ending saga of how she's ostracized because I won't buy her a cellphone (gotta give her props for the creative stories she tells), how she doesn't have any cute clothes like all the other kids (she has clothes, just not the ridiculous amount of name brand, overpriced things some of her friends have), and just a few minutes ago, she came to tell me she likes the denim jacket I found for her to wear with one of her dresses, but it's of no use because she doesn't have the right shoes.
The oldest grand/daughter started in on me before I even realized she was home from school. I guess she was on the phone with her biological dad and he's been moved to a prison within an hour of our house (oh, wonderful) and she wanted to know if I'd take her to see him. Yes, that's how I want to spend my spare time...in a prison visiting room. Sorry, I didn't commit the crime and I shouldn't have to do the time. And could somebody leave me alone for five minutes so I can get ready for dinner out with my husband?????!!!!!
As it got closer to dinner time, I tried to get both girls to tell me what they planned to do for dinner. I wanted to make sure they were going to eat something with an ounce of nutritional value and not look at this as a free-for-all snack binge. I couldn't get the oldest one to tell me anything. Actually, as of last night she had plans to go to her Bible study group tonight where the leader usually serves dinner, but by today she had decided not to go. (This left me suspicious in light of the fact she knew my husband and I wouldn't be home, so my already-frayed nerves were sent into high alert.) Finally, even though I had already showered, spackled my face, smoothed the frizz out of my hair, and put on nicer clothes than my usual jeans and sweatshirt, I decided the best thing to do was stand over a hot stove and cook a semi-healthy dinner for the kids. Heaven forbid they should have to eat leftovers or a sandwich (which just happens to be what I eat for lunch every day).
To be honest, I really don't blame either of my grand/daughters. They're good kids, but they are kids, and they want what other kids have. As a matter of fact, I often feel guilty because they deserve better than what this tired old lady has to give. I've been raising children for nearly forty years and I just need a break. But there's no light at the end of the tunnel for me. Realistically, my husband and I have another decade of supporting these girls, both financially and emotionally, before we can even dream of time to rest and be together.
Dinner out tonight isn't going to happen. Somewhere between listening to one complaint or another, I simply lost my appetite. I'm sure the biological parents of these children are going about their day doing whatever they want, or at least whatever they can with the lives they've chosen for themselves, without giving a care in the world to the needs of these precious girls. Because of their irresponsible actions I feel like I've been given a life sentence for a crime I didn't commit.
And there's no justice in that.