Since my niece graduated from her night school program, things have been going pretty smoothly for her. She’s working part-time with two different jobs, but still has time available to hang out with her friends when she wants to. To me, that’s the definition of a perfect “last summer,” before the realities of working for the rest of your life set in.
I have tried desperately to overlook the periodic comments on Facebook about her “partying with Mom.” After all, she is 18, considered an adult even though she’s not legally allowed to drink. When I was underage, I shared a few drinks with my parents so it’s hard to say with absolution that I disagree with that behavior. I’m pretty sure that “partying with her mother” and having a beer with my parents are two different scenarios altogether, but again, she’s 18 now and it’s not my business. I’m sure that someone is teaching her how to behave responsibly when drinking, right?
I knew it was a matter of time before things fell apart.
Yesterday, Spice was with my mother while Sugar went on her play date. Of course Spice had a wonderful time being the only grandchild and my mom took her shopping. When they returned home, my niece was there, moving her stuff into my mother’s house. No one mentioned whether my niece was upset, but it was apparent when I got there just how mad Spice was about the situation.
Spice: Mama, Tia was here. Her mother beated her out.
Spice: I mean her mother got mad and kicked her out. She’s moving in here.
She then proceeded to stalk angrily through my mother’s house, fling the guest bedroom door open and said, “See, this is her stuff!” with her hands on her hips, Spice lectured me about how terrible she thought it was that my sister had kicked her child out of the house for not cleaning. She ranted on and on about how rude it was, how wrong… this little five-year-old found a reason to jump on her soapbox and rail about the injustices of the world. It really was quite something to see. Norma Rae was fighting the unions in the middle of my mother’s kitchen.
Then my mother said, “Spice asked me to help her write a letter.” A letter? Who would she write a letter to? I guess Spice was so fired up that she drew a mad face on a piece of paper and had my mother write: “Aunt E, You are so rude. You should not kick your daughter out of the house. Love, Angry Spice.” Then she had second thoughts about leaving in the word angry, so she asked my mother to cross that out. I guess she was afraid of sounding too harsh.
I left with my little firecracker, assuming that my mother filed that letter in a drawer full of things that would be funny in five years. But no. Norma Rae’s grandma thought the letter was so fantastic that she had my father bring it to my sister when he went to visit her.
I have not heard from my sister and Tiny Mike hasn’t mentioned the letter. I know I personally would not have given that letter to my sister, and am a little surprised that my parents did. In my head, it's a little much, the situation is not our business; if she had spoken to my sister like that, I would have been horrified. There is a teensy part of me that is glad that Spice spoke up about how she saw the situation. In a sense, she said what we have all wanted to say for so long.
I wonder what else we can make her do.