Monday, May 21, 2007

Twins' birthday and relationship with my parents post mormonism

We had a great, low key weekend celebration for the twins' birthday.

I've heard of people who do separate parties for their twins - at this point, this is not on the horizon. I think it would be hard to explain to one why they weren't getting any gifts. At this point, even at 2, they are determined that things should be equitable.

If my son, noggin, wakes up, he wants to know where his sister is. If they get some sort of semi-nutritious crackers as a snack, we have to give the same or similar amounts.

Last year's first birthday gathering was very hectic. We invited many of our friends, their kids and both of our families. We had a five and seven year old girls there. I have to say, 1 year old twins, a five and a seven year old are interested in completely different things. On top of that, my husband's 92 year old grandfather and his wife stopped by as well - the first time they had visited our home in the three years we had lived there.

I found afterwards I was exhausted, and I hadn't spent a lot of time with either twin.

So this year, we decided to go very simple. We invited family, period. We decided not to invite my husband's grandfather - who lives an hour away. We will probably go down and see him at some other point.

It worked beautifully. My dad helped fix our new double jogging stroller. My father in law helped set up the new water table/sand table (which was/is much loved). We didn't start the festivities until noggin and goose (my daughter) woke up from their afternoon nap, which they are still taking (thank goodness!!)

My husband grilled pork. We had cantaloupe for my daughter, goose - she loves cantaloupe and watermelon and eats them both like candy. They got simple gifts from the family members who know them well - cardboard blocks, shoes (goose loves shoes), a sand bucket, shovel and dvd's. My son (noggin) tried to hold the dvd's while he opened the other gifts. It didn't work so well.

All in all, it was a relaxing weekend, celebrating. I still have to pinch myself to admit that yes, I am a mom and yes, two years ago yesterday I went into full labor with these two wonderful, healthy children. I'm trying hard to call them kids/twins/children instead of babies, but it's not easy.

I know that the readers of this blog are at many different points in their lives. I will say, I am so glad my relationship with my parents is going so well. As I've written about before, they are mormon/LDS and are still pretty mormon (they go to the temple, my dad is the ward clerk, etc.) Yet they obviously love and value their grandchildren. When they come to visit (around once every three or four months), they spend time with us. They don't even attempt to attend a branch of their church (which I even offered to find the location for them). I know it's difficult to find substitutes for their classes and other responsibilities. It means a great deal. Clearly, we are important to them as well. It has taken us many years to get here. We
don't talk about mormonism.

I think they feel that I left because I was offended. While I think I've explained to them why I left and why I'm not going back, they probably will not be able to hear me. In the end, what they want to believe is their right.

I can't imagine being in Lemon
situation - but I have to say, I'm not surprised that her parents drove nine hours to see her, without asking first.

This is part of the reason I don't live in the same town as my parents - since I know they would probably end up doing this (showing upunannounced) occasionally.

The LDS take a family member leaving very seriously. Some handle it differently
than others. Fortunately, unlike the Jehovah's Witnesses, there is no official policy of "shunning" a family member who has left the faith. while some LDS families may shun or mistreat a family member - it varies widely. From talking with other former mormons though - I know my situation is unique - and I feel fortunate every time we hang out with my parents.


Lemon Blossom said...

Aerin - I sounds like you all did have a wonderful time. And Happy Unbirthday to you. I can't imagine being pregnant with, or birthing, twins. Congratulations.

My parents are planning on returning in a few weeks and they did say that they are planning on attending church. I said it was no problem and I could help them find their way there. Part of me wishes that, since the will only be here for a few days, that they would chose to do something with us on Sunday morning, but I know why they are going (to be an example and because church is important to them) and I know that I need to let them be as they are trying to let me be.

Anyway, I have rambled long enough. I must get back to the school work I am studiously avoiding. :)

C. L. Hanson said...

I haven't even attempted to do a serious birthday party for my kids yet. We just have family birthday parties. And both kids end up getting presents because it's too hard to give presents to just one (the other gets upset and complains). But they understand whose birthday it is, who we're singing to, etc. :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks LB! Actually, I was thinking about it last night, and it would really be okay if they wanted to attend church. It's a little like me going out to get coffee when I visit them - it's just part of who I am. It's hard to explain - I don't try to pressure them either way.

chanson - it is good to know that even if we had separate parties, we would probably need to get two sets of gifts :)

Freckle Face Girl said...

Happy Birthday to the TWINS! What a fun party!