Well, Nora has bought plane tickets; she and I are amiably hammering out the details of the visit. We will see them Friday (September 6) evening and then on Saturday; they’re leaving town on Sunday morning. Oh, and Ruth isn’t coming.

Nora is willing to see my parents, which I’m ridiculously happy about: not for the whole visit, or at first, but maybe for dinner on Saturday. I’ve also suggested that Nora, Cricket, and I might go downtown together while Kit and Joey nap at home with the grands. Time with Cricket that I’m not spending attending to the dynamic duo seems like something I should try. Nora wants to go to the beach on Saturday, and while she suggested spending most of the day there, I know from experience that these two won’t last more than a couple of hours at the beach. But she asked whether I could help with arranging a picnic lunch to bring, and I am grateful—gives me something to focus on that feels manageable.

I think they’re really coming.

I have to say, dealing with Nora has been remarkable. She hasn’t always done things on the timeline she agreed to, but she does seem to want to keep their agreement and there’s no drama. We aren’t talking about our feelings, and after the last five years of contact, that feels perfect. It’s like she realizes that we aren’t buddies, but that we can have a good working relationship.

When Nora mentioned at the end of her last message that Ruth won’t be coming, I didn’t feel surprise; of course, I had been surprised when she initially told me that all three of them would be coming. Ruth really has chosen to cut contact with us. She’s in a difficult place right now, and I have less sympathy than I should because of our relative positions—but it’s not no sympathy. The fact that she isn’t coming will probably make the visit less awkward.