Something very unusual happened last Saturday - my birth parents came to lunch and tea and everything went happily and well!
When they first announced they were coming I wasn't optimistic. At least twice before they have cancelled on the day of a planned visit and once my Birth Mother made so many pre-conditions that I withdrew the invitation.
They were due to arrive at 12:00 and sure enough at 11:58 their car drew up in front of our shared house. Greeting them is always something of a lottery because neither of them are "into" showing emotion. I thought it was sensible to let them make the first move and straight away it was obvious that they were determined to make the visit a success. The little ones were a bit shy at first because they hardly know my Mum and Dad and in any case neither Alice or Nicola is entirely convinced that Mummies and Daddies have parents of their own!
Young children are good ice-breakers and quite quickly they were taking my parents to explore the house - with special emphasis of the bedroom they share and the toys that guard them when they are asleep.
Lunch was a leg of lamb, purchased at vast expense from the local supermarket. Ella had cooked it to perfection - she has far more talent than me in everything to do with cooking. My BPs had plainly decided in advance on a list of safe topics to talk about over lunch and so none of the flashpoints from the past were raised.
When they want to be my BP's are disarmingly charming and normal and so it wasn't too difficult to pretend that what was happening was just a routine visit rather than something that had virtually never happened before. The weather wasn't very co-operative but we managed to do a trip to the playground and the grandparents did all the normal things you would expect like pushing the little ones on the swings and playing catch and football with them.
One thing they did exactly right was to treat Alice (mine) and Nicola (Ella's) in the same way. We are an indivisible group of 2 wives, 2 husbands and 2 children rather than two traditional families and BPs aren't, any longer, in denial about that. So all in all I would have to give them maximum points for everything they did with us - and that isn't something I thought I would ever say!
I think Nicola and Alice would agree because they gave my BPs a bye-bye kiss without being prompted.