Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Hostess

with 7 comments

On Friday evening, I was surprised by a visit from my oldest friend and her boyfriend.  I was excited.

My husband had secretly flown them over from England using our air miles.  I was, of course, delighted to see them.

Spectrummy Daddy had sent photos of them to Pudding’s teacher to prepare her for the visit.  She didn’t handle their arrival too well, but she calmed down after a day or so.  Cubby enjoyed having the extra attention.  Another friend agreed to babysit on Saturday night, so we actually got to go out.  I was happy.

My house was in relative order, for my house, or so I thought until my friend walked in.  Only then did I see it through her eyes.  The juice-stained carpet, the crayon marks on the walls, the broken furniture, the child locks even on high cupboards, the safety gates, the door locks, the social stories, the therapy equipment everywhere.  They don’t have children, so the chaos of our home is the opposite of how they live.  I was embarrassed.

Even when I did find a minute to clean, it was futile.  Cubby was hell-bent on drawing on the walls, though I swore I’d removed every single crayon from his reach.  I was angry.

In contrast, Pudding retreated into herself even more than usual.  I was worried.

I stayed up as late as I could every night to chat and catch up with my friends.  I was tired.

I still had therapies to drive to, allergy-safe food to cook, and Pudding and Cubby to take care of.  I was exhausted.

I was completely unable to act like a hostess in the way I’d have liked to.  I’m doing nothing as well as I’d like to right now.  I was frustrated.

I wished for things to be different.  I felt guilty.

At many points over the course of the long weekend, I thought about how I couldn’t just have a weekend to enjoy the company of friends because of everything else.  I wondered why I couldn’t just be happy, just for a weekend.  Will a visit from friends always be this hard?  I was sad.

I was able to talk to my friend, and tell her in person how I was feeling.  I have a friendship of over three decades of being accepted and loved for myself, even if I’m not able to present my best self all the time.  I was content.

I dropped them at the airport this afternoon.  By tomorrow we’ll be back on our routine, like the visit never happened.  Back to our normal.

I wonder how long I’ll be playing hostess to every feeling that has risen to the surface.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm

7 Responses

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  1. mummy,
    i have had this same experience! my best friend came to visit and my then autistic three year old threw his hamburger and it happened to land on her plate (she is a vegetarian), he threw a wine glass, and then sweetly asked her to read a bedtime story to him! she is still my friend even though our home was filthy and my child was not mannerly. But I am so glad she came out here because it’s now been ages since we have seen eachother. I even forgot how shameful I felt until your post brought back the memory-and hubby and I can laugh about it now, thank goodness!

    Selina

    May 24, 2011 at 6:24 pm

  2. I feel your pain. So much.
    Your friend loves you for you. Not because of how your house looks. She loves you because you are an amazing woman with great stories to tell, and a dedicated mother whose heart and soul is with her children 24/7 because it has to be.
    A true friend understands that.
    On the flip side, I understand your sadness and pain over wanting to have things be one way when they aren’t. If it would make you feel better, you are welcome at my house anytime in all our juice-stained, chipped floor glory. I won’t even vacuum for you (okay, I would, but only because I wouldn’t want you to wonder what was crunching under your feet…)
    Your friend gets all that, I’m sure.

    Alysia

    May 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm

  3. Wow..the full spectrum of emotions from that visit….I am sure that you will play hostess to those feelings for awhile, but I bet writing about those feelings which you so beautifully just did…helps you to play hostess to them in a more peaceful way…thinking of you….

    cheairs

    May 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm

  4. I feel like that all the time when people come to my home. Toys, juice stains, laundry… it’s never ending and I get so mad at myself for not keeping on top of things better. But we need to remind ourselves that we deal with A LOT more than typical parents, and our friends – our true friends – don’t judge us and love us no matter what. I’m sure she did not think any less of you; in fact, I’m certain her admiration for you grew exponentially =)

    Margie Walker

    May 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm

  5. Please, please…you should see my basement filled with stuff that needs to be prepped for a yard sale, my overgrown backyard, my desk overflowing with papers, the cat’s vomiting place (the carpet) or the fact that I just don’t care that the living room has toys scattered everywhere.

    Come on over and I’ll try and find two matched cups (or not) so we can enjoy a glass of wine…and cookies, if the kids haven’t eaten them all!

    Jen

    May 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

  6. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, isn’t it? The excitement of seeing someone so special and the hard work and late hours you must keep to play hostess and still be the mom. I know this feeling. It’s fantastic that you were able to go out, still do all the things you needed to do for Pudding and Cubby and have this visit! I have the exact same house – and I feel the same way as you but our true friends come for us – not the way the house looks or how our children act. When you are not so exhausted – that sad feeling will be gone and you will look back and laugh about the crayon on the walls… (((Hugs)))

    solodialogue

    May 25, 2011 at 10:36 am

  7. It’s hard to see things from another perspective. Try this one, please??? Your friend walks in, sees you and the kids and breaks out into a big happy smile. Gives you a hug. Happy to see you. Not the mess, crayons, or anything else. Just happy to see you and your’s. I would guess the rest of the stuff didn’t matter to her anyway. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Hugs.

    Lizbeth

    May 25, 2011 at 11:57 am


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