There have been a lot of things about being Krystle that make me think God is testing me, and I hope that I'm managing a passing grade. Yes, I had sex with the guy living my life, and that's probably the largest individual test I've failed, but I've accepted the consequences and tried to meet the challenges that go with it.
More often, though, it is staying to feel like evidence that God has an extremely peculiar sense of humor. Which makes a sort of sense, I suppose; who can tell what a being who knows the entire expanse if the universe will find funny? I like to think that, in most cases, what happens at the Inn and after is funny as well as instructive; there's no reason it can't be both. On the other hand, Momma Kamen, Karla, and her boyfriend/kids joining us for Thanksgiving despite the fact that in previous years they could almost never both get the holiday off for long enough to sit down together, let alone travel, while they're actual daughter is off in Europe... You've got to laugh, right?
Well, Krystle and I do. Dad, he kind of just shakes his head and notes the irony. Mom isn't quite furious, but she is not pleased - she hated the idea of Krystle going on this trip in the first place, but she's absolutely not going to let the Kamens throw share at what they think is her son for gallivanting around the world and leaving me here alone to raise our daughter. That they're throwing that shade is kind of funny in and of itself, although I've got to be very careful not to be openly amused. Fortunately, nobody made a comment about how this had always been Krystle's dream, or I might have lost it.
Not that there was a while lot of time for that, as I was both helping to corral kids and doing some kitchen duty. It wasn't an issue in either of my other Thanksgiving as Krystle - it was just another day two years ago and Mom was actively pushing me out of the kitchen last year, saying that just because I was seven months pregnant was no reason for me to play the part of a woman more than I had to - but I was mashing potatoes, candying yams, and making sure things didn't boil over. It was less than the real women, but still more than I'd ever been responsible as a male kid.
The meal was delicious, though. Karla's kids seemed a bit confused at just how much weight Mom put on saying Grace and thanking God rather than just diving in, but they didn't make a scene. Moira is just starting to get into squishy foods, so she really dug into the cranberry sauce.
Of course, she was still hungry after that, so I retired to a bedroom to breast-feed, which surprised Karla a bit. She apparently went with formula early, which kind of seems like a waste when finances are tight. Didn't say so, just that I might as well get some use out of these things hanging from my chest. Which was, obviously, walking right into "you've never had any trouble making them useful before", because (and this seems like a lifetime ago for both of us) Krystle was a stripper before her trip to the Inn.
I don't particularly regret not having siblings before. Still, I think it was said more with snark than cruelty. At least 50/50 on that.
Me being out of the living room let things got a little more frosty there, more so when Krystle made a video call from the hostel where she's staying in Vienna to say Happy Thanksgiving. It was 4pm our time, so like ten o'clock there. She's been paying less of pictures on my Facebook account and basically dumping everything into my Google account so that I can study it for when it's supposed to be my pre-college trip as of next summer. It's just fun to look at anyway, although I think Karla, her kids, and I we're the only ones really into her talking about all the amazing museums they'd made out of palaces there.
As much as I'm enjoying looking at those pictures, I kind of wonder if Krystle realizes the tension she's creating over here. Or if she cares. I mean, I never heard much from her until I told her I couldn't give her her life back, and while she seems to have gotten things in order while living mine (and in the year before), and sometimes I think of Momma Kamen, Karla, and other folks telling me how "I" used to be much more selfish, and maybe there's a certain amount of that still there, both in how she must have guessed that our parents would react poorly to it, and how she just figured it would be no big sacrifice missing so much of Little Moira's first year despite knowing how big a party they would eventually be of each other's lives.
Again, I don't really blame her, but it's a cloud that hung over our Thanksgiving, even after her family headed back home and it was just us folks who know what's going on left.