What I learned this week…special super late edition!

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. Family trips would be a lot more fun if my kids weren’t there.
  2. I realize this adjustment may threaten the occasion’s status as a “family trip,” but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
  3. This past weekend we went to Sonoma County for two annual holiday parties – one with my extended family – the other with friends so old they are like extended family. And it would have been a lot more fun if my kids weren’t there, or maybe if they just stopped by occasionally. I mean they’re nice to look at, especially all dolled up in their Christmas gear, but they’re just so fucking annoying, particularly on trips. I believe this warrants a blog post of its own, but I’ll give you a rundown of the key problem areas: 1. Car rides; 2. Hotel rooms; 3. Behaving at other people’s houses.
  4. But I guess the yelling and car sickness and tears and whining is all part of the deal – the youngest cousins going batshit crazy because some tyrannical aunt fed them soda and lollipops the size of their heads and Christmas outfits getting muddy (pissing me off) and flailing squealing boys and kids crashed out in the gift-filled car on the way home and new babies and old babies and all that family. Who knew me since I was a baby and a kid and a hot-headed teenager and now. All that crazy family we’ve held onto, once a year whether we need it or not. I just love those people so much. They are my people. And I wouldn’t change a single freaking thing.
  5. But holy shit does it all make me miss my grandma. My dear grandma Bonny, who held it together and held me together, and fills my soul with longing and meaning and maternal pride. Because my roots are some badass roots, through her. And when I feel like it’s getting too heavy I think of my grandma Bonny and I tell her about it and she tells me through my heart that I’m tough as nails, just like her, and I’ll be just fine. But I miss her so much I feel paralyzed sometimes, like I can’t figure out how to navigate this place without her and I can’t believe she’s gone, even though it’s been 3 years.  I feel like she’s just gotta come back and say hello one of these days. But she hasn’t so far.
  6. I’ll tell you about her someday, when I can see through my tears long enough to express my adoration for her.
  7. Admittedly, however, she created a brood and extended brood a little like a mix of The Office and National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation, but for the sake of privacy, I’m leaving out details. You know who you are.
  8. Btw, I have a rather infantile need to rebel – you know, do something contrary just on principle, for no reason whatsoever. For example, when I see those water conservation toilets that tell you to pull up for “Number 1” and push down for “Number 2,” I feel like pushing down even though I just went Number 1. I don’t actually do that, though, because that would be wrong. But I want to.
  9. I feel better having admitted that.
  10. I would also like to admit that I am a little proud of myself. Doesn’t happen often, but I felt a genuine sense of pride when I finished this semester of graduate school – there were many days when I wanted to quit, with the husband gone and all, but I stuck through it, and I freaking finished that shit. Yo.
  11. And…today is our ten-year anniversary. I have so much to say about this, but there isn’t time right now. There is just too much to say. Ten years.

Is Christmas really on Sunday? I’m so screwed. Can’t we push it back a week? Damnit.

5 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized | December 19, 2011
  • Cheryl

    Ok, so now I know I’m officially an addict, I think I went into withdrawals a little bit when I looked for my usual Sunday night entertainment and there was no new post!!! AAAHHHHH!!!! Glad to know you were just off having a life and all is back on track again. (1)I feel you on the family trips, I start to think it might be fun to take the kids somewhere, do something fun and they’ll just have a great time and we’ll all be happy together and blah blah blah, and it always ends up the same….I just want to choke them the whole time and I vow NEVER to take them ANYWHERE EVER AGAIN, but then I forget. Dammit. (5) Also feel you on the loss of your grandma, this will be my first Christmas without my dad, and while he wasn’t perfect, I seem to only be able to remember all the good stuff and all the traditions he started and it makes me cry all over again and I ache for those years back. I heard from someone right after he died that grief doesn’t go away, it just gets different, and I’ve found that to be true. It hurts differently at each milestone, and I wish I could talk to him, ask his advice, know that he’s proud of how I’m doing my life and just have him around. (10)Congrats on the higher education while having a family. If it hadn’t been for good friends that reminded me (sometimes daily) why it was a bad plan to drop out, and a dad who helped with my kids, I never would have finished, and it really is worth it….eventually….I think…..
    (11) Ten years sounds like something to be proud of too, I don’t even have 3 years yet, and I’m amazed at how challenging and wonderful it can be to share my life with a man. I can only imagine what ten years is like. Hope you guys have a happy anniversary and many more happy years together!

  • Kateri Von Steal

    Pushing it back a WEEK?
    No way.
    That would ruin my world.
    Bc my kid is at the age where every day is…… “Mama, Christmas Yet?”
    “Is Christmas Today?”

    Endless bouts of it.

    I need Christmas to be OVER!


    Your Grandma Bonny must be one heck of a lady.
    I can tell from your brief description

  • Rebekah C

    I have SO missed reading your blog. Happy Anniversary! Ours was yesterday and you know, where DOES all that time go. I remember being all proud at our fifth anniversary but now? Now I am like WOW. Yeah.

    I’d love to hear more about your Amazing Grandmother. She must have really been something to leave behind such a legacy.

  • The UDG

    I’ve told you what great birth control you are, right??

  • Michael Ann Riley

    I think we all feel that sometimes. Ok, most of the time! About those darned family vacations…. Sorry you are missing your grandma 🙁 She sounds like an amazing woman. I LOVE your example of wanting to rebel just for sake of it. I am so like that too! That made me laugh out loud! And congrats on the 10 years! You are lucky you found just the right person for you and you are for him.