Lorretta and Kelly’s relationship had been somewhat strained before baby Logan was born. Kelly had always been more close to her dad, and her mom had seemed bossy and controlling when she was growing up. Lots of things changed in the last year, though. From Lorretta’s divorce, to starting college, and then the birth of her first grandchild, she’s a very different person from then to now.
She’d been outside-appearance motivated, practical, and sometimes overbearing as a parent. She’d been desperate to make her time sitting at home alone with babies worth it. If she was to have given up collage for something, she wanted to have something to show for it. That mindset had put undue pressure on her girls to be something worth showing off.
She’s started therapy now, and after some thought, brings that realization to Kelly in the form of an apology.
Kelly had already been seeing the changes in her mom. She’d been too sleep deprived and focused on her baby to say anything, but when Lorretta had come to suggest they move the crib into the new parents’ bedroom, she’d cursed and laughed and told them off. Kelly was used to her mother scolding her for even a word so mild as ‘damn’, not a person she’d expected to drop F-bombs in the middle of a random Tuesday.
The relationship has a long, long way to go before it’s anywhere close to being ‘repaired’, but the groundwork is set up. Kelly is comfortable enough to entrust her mom with small requests for advice with her new baby, and Lorretta doesn’t give any that isn’t asked, letting Kelly come to her when needed.
Truth be told, Lorretta is struggling horribly wanting to offer unsolicited advice. She spends much of her time gritting her teeth wanting to offer helpful comments to every moan and lament Michael and Kelly make in her vicinity. Baby can’t sleep? Lorretta’s mind lights up with 45 tips and tricks she’d had with her own babies. Kelly read an article about sleep training? Lorretta wants badly to butt in with a ‘well actually…’. Baby has diaper rash? Oh! She knows just the thing!
But, no, she bites her tongue and waits for Kelly to ask or figure it out on her own.
She thinks of how she would have felt, if she’d been living with her own mother when her babies were small, to hear advice every thirty seconds. She would have felt smothered, and like a failure. Kelly and Michael are getting enough unsolicited advice from other family, the internet, and complete strangers at the grocery store. They don’t need Lorretta piling on.
This is good, if not downright impressive self-control on Lorretta’s part.
This situation could have very easily had an entirely different outcome. If Lorretta hadn’t figured things out, learned to paint her house the colors she wanted and by extension to throw reputation and appearances to the wind. If she hadn’t started college, finding things outside the house she loved so that Michael, Kelly, and Logan weren’t her ‘everything’. If she hadn’t begun therapy, unpacking mistakes from her past and learned to hold her tongue when it was needed, allowing Kelly to make her own mistakes. If she’d not done even one of those things, this story could have easily left Lorretta living alone once more. Kelly would have moved in when Logan was born, and been miserable the moment her mother began to hover. The couple would have given it two months, and then announced they found a house in town with an affordable down-payment, and they’ve bitten the bullet and bought it. Lorretta would have been crushed, and the house would turn out entirely differently without a kid growing up in it. She would have decided it was too big for just her, sold it, and we’d be watching it be turned into a duplex right now.
But Lorretta did it, she managed each of those things and their individual difficulties, and as a result we’re getting to watch her repair the relationship with her daughter, and the house stay in the family.
Before Logan is one, Michael asks Kelly to marry him. He’d wanted to ask sooner, but didn’t want her to feel like it was just because of the baby. In fact, he’d already been looking for rings when they found out she was pregnant, although it was embarrassingly too soon to be doing so at the time. She says yes, although only once promised they don’t have to have a big wedding, despite the pressures she knew full-well would come from his side of the family.
The couple is engaged, Logan is growing fast, and Lorretta is about to finish her second semester of college. The house remains not bulldozed, flipped, or turned into office space. Nice. Good job you fictional, funky little dudes.
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.
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