Families meeting for the first time is always daunting. Worries quickly arise about whether conversations will come easily, whether the setting will allow for bonding, where each person will sit, will previous opinions or conversations get in the way of starting fresh...etc. I sat on these thoughts for a long time leading up to this milestone event. My anxious persona grew this event in my mind to a bigger state than I could handle. David on the other hand, was not worried about any of these things.
With the news of a shared grandchild and our engagement, it made sense that our families were being united and felt appropriate for the time to meet. More joint events would come - paths perhaps crossing during baby's birth, baptism, upcoming wedding, future baby birthdays... time spent together would be unavoidable. And while there are no expectations of being super close, I'm sure everyone was invested in ensuring that all went well. Both sides happily agreed and it was decided that after the first baby shower, we would all go out to dinner and spend some time together.
While I personally did not do much for the shower, I was exhausted from the socializing at the party - the perils of being as introverted as I am. The few hours of a break between the shower and dinner, I spent sleeping and was unmotivated when I awoke to still go through with this dinner. But alas, it could not be avoided.
Despite how much I wanted this to be a perfect meeting, logistically it fell apart pretty quickly. Saturday evening meant lots of traffic in our area due to the copious amounts of constructions and road blocks. On the way, my family arrived early to the restaurant only to be told the reservation didn't exist. This fact hit me hard in the moment since making reservations is part of my actual job, so to think I somehow messed it up felt like I really must have been losing it lately - that baby brain was really taking over and my sense of control and capability was in question. The restaurant briefly advised that they could still make it work before my parents called me yet again to inform me that they couldn't do it after all. Upset and confused, David took it upon himself to call other locations to see where this missing reservation ended up only to be told that they would not hold it when we found out that it was at a different location. We had no real plan B in place and thus had to make quick decisions. Looking at our surroundings, we tried one more restaurant (only to be told that it would be a 1.5hr wait) before settling in almost an ironic matter on IKEA where we believed there would be plenty of space.
By this point, the failed plans, our exhaustion, and the stress and pressure I had placed on this event both got to David and I and we became emotionally overwhelmed. Personally, it was not so much that the original plan had failed. I didn't really care where our families met. It was more the stress from the multiple rejections from each dining location that built up quickly into this mental state of 'we're not going to have any place to eat.' I felt bad that I couldn't contain my stress and that it had transferred to David as well. Our families, in good spirits assured us that all was ok, that it didn't matter where or what we ate - just that we had the chance to spend time together. Once everyone had their meals and sat down, both David and I calmed down and began to enjoy the conversations ourselves. In the end, we were the last people there and basically closed down the IKEA. Not many pictures were taken as the whole thing went by really quickly but we did take some quick pics on the phones.
I appreciate everyone's attitude and spirit despite an exhausting night for us all. I'm grateful that both sides came out to support David and I as we take more and more steps towards and unified future and make an effort to meet and interact with the most important people in our lives. Lots of love to this bunch! Soon two new faces will join this crew and I can't wait 🙂