Saturday marked the 10th visit that I have escorted Ethan on to visit his mom. It also marked the most uncomfortable one.
Ethan and I didn’t have to wait long for her to come out. Eliza was on time because she was called to the visit from her culinary arts class. This time I didn’t get out of my seat to hug her. She didn’t make her way over to my chair to hug me either.
She appeared a little surprised to see us because we did not visit on the day they we normally do. Eliza gave me a half-hearted smile as she signed in at the desk. I don’t think she was prepared for a visit. Usually that’s why it takes so long for her to come out because she spends about an hour and a half getting ready. Her hair was pulled in a simple ponytail (no bells and whistles) and her face was free of vivid eyeshadow and mascara.
Eliza seemed embarrassed to be “caught” not looking her best. She kept her head down most of the visit and made little eye contact with me. She even gave an explanation for her appearance saying that her hair was frizzy from working in the garden on the previous day.
We played card games and ate snacks. Mother and son did most of the talking as I said very little. I gave her an update on Evan and added a few remarks here and there, but that was basically it.
I think I was sulking a little. I was polite yet reserved. Just being in the prison was a reminder of how she failed to notify me about the lockdown. I recalled reading comments on the prison message board from posters who had received letters from friends and family warning them of the situation. Once again I was stung by her discourtesy.
When Eliza mentioned the woman who escaped (providing Ethan with a detailed version including how she knitted herself an entire outfit to escape in), I used the opportunity to let her know that I had planned to bring Ethan down that very weekend. I explained that it was Tasha who had informed me of the restriction–saving me time and gas. I told her that I appreciated Tasha’s thoughtfulness.
I hope that she read between the lines. I did not want to address the matter directly because I did not want to air our issues in front of Ethan. Nor did I feel like writing her a letter beforehand to request that she share these minute occurences with me. I just want her to grow up.
I could write her for future reference (in the event that it never occurred to her to inform me) and request that she keep me abreast of anything that might affect our monthly visits. However, I’m not sure that she would comply anyways.
At the end of the visit she hugged Ethan goodbye. I inched far away from the table because I did not feel like hugging her. However, Eliza walked around the table so she could hug me. I was a little surprised because if she would have read my body language she would have known that I wasn’t up for it. Maybe she felt bad.
Maybe I am too sensitive.
My fellow blogger friend Stacy wrote a great a post about hug therapy. It made me realize that I do need to hug her. She wrote There are actual health benefits to hugging. According to one article, we need 8 hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth. Two other articles expressed that hugging lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. In the third article, I read, it talked about how being hugged makes us feel accepted and compassion. These emotions tend to make us feel more relaxed and improve our attitude.
Maybe one day my warm hugs will melt the polar region of her heart.