My parents finally arrived for their week-long visit on Wednesday night. Since then, we've been enjoying some quality time together. I went with my Dad and Mrs. Geek's Dad to an oyster bar yesterday afternoon for some very delicious fresh shellfish on the half-shell and some excellent New England-style chowder. Mrs. Geek and I went with both of my parents to see a lovely performance of The Nutcracker this afternoon, and then treated them to dinner afterward. It's all been a great time so far.
One of the consequences of the breakup of my sister's marriage is that it has loosened the tongue of my parents about how they feel about my soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law. Mrs. Geek and my Mom have especially been discussing the situation. The picture my parents paint of seeing how my sister's husband interacts with the world is not at all a pretty one. All of us are asking why did my sister, an intelligent and attractive woman in many respects, choose to spend fourteen years with this man? What need of hers did he meet? Why did she not see our (decidedly negative) reactions to this man and take that as some kind of warning sign?
I do take one piece of comfort from all this discussion. I now see where my attitude toward the situation comes from: my Dad. Seeing Mrs. Geek get herself wound up about my sister's marriage, I sometimes feel guilty about my own attitude -- I don't know how my brother-in-law's mind works, and frankly I don't want to know. I just know that he needs professional help for a lot of unresolved issues from his childhood, and I see no use in really attempting to understand it any further. My Dad seems to see this in pretty much exactly the same terms, and I find that somewhat reassuring. Perhaps this is a male thing? I don't know.
I'm just happy, especially in light of what my Mom is telling me about what's been going on for the last few years, that my sister is taking some steps to help to secure a better future for herself and her son (yes, elganthere is a three year old boy in the picture). That and some piece and quiet for my parents are the real gifts of this Christmas season, I think.
on 2006-12-29 at 10:58 p.m.
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