2005-11-28 - 1:13 p.m.
Okay. Here's the update:
We're haggling over the house. I'm not a good haggler. Say no more. Knock on wood.
Thanksgiving. Well. Well, my mom is perhaps not the easiest person to be around at the moment. I felt a bit stretched -- implored at all times to be going on walks, swimming, making pies, doing dishes, cleaning up, having a good time, having deep chats . . .
I really only wanted to loll about and knit a hat.
I don't mind making pies at all. It is a bit difficult, though, to be swimming and making pies simultaneously.
Plus, there is the ever present worry about my grandmother. My mother is always in a state around my grandmother. There is always concern that we're not behaving. Generally, I think we're fairly well behaved.
Anyway, I snapped at one point. I don't think I've snapped for years, but I sure did this year.
This is what I've learned: if at all possible, stay home. If we have to go, don't fly before 10 in the morning. Better 11. And come home a day earlier. We need a day at home to recover from the horror, and get some sleep.
Maybe we can stay home, though. We'll have a new house!
You have no idea how discreet I'm being.
It's actually okay, though. I'm sure this has contributed to my personal growth in some way. (hah.)
Actually, it was sort of interesting to be experiencing this all just as our kids are growing up (who am I kidding -- it's probably because our kids are growing up). I do love my mother, and it is certainly my fondest wish that when they are grown my kids will still want to come home to see me. I love it when it's the four of us together. I would hate to not go see her, because I know exactly how horrible it would feel to me to have my kids not want to spend time with me.
What I'm tactfully not saying here is that I hope I don't drive them as crazy as she drives me.
It's especially bad when we're around her mother. I don't know why, but that certainly brings out the worst in her and always has.
Anyway. We did have some good times. After I snapped, people stopped trying to boss me around. (I speak like a three year old here, since what I discovered was that releasing my inner three year old was highly successful.) We played B*lderd*ash, which was quite fun. My mother actually can be a lot of fun, when she isn't giving us all the gimlet eye.
I'm hoping that she's not going to turn into my grandmother as she ages.
Because here's the thing -- I'm not going to be as cowed by her as she has been by her mother. In fact, I think it's probably pretty important that we (the four of us) spend some vacation time that's not with either K's or my family. When she is geriatric, I'm certainly not going to go spend 6 weeks with her every spring -- the way my mother does with her mother.
I think the trick is, if at all possible avoid the whole guilt business. My mother is constantly feeling guilty about this or that re: her mother. Every sentence, every gesture is analyzed for deeper meanings and hints of unhappiness. Then my mother feels bad. This is not enough -- then she wants me to feel bad, too.
It's actually resulted in my not wanting to spend too much time with my grandmother, although we used to be quite close when I was growing up.
Anyway. But then my mother wants me to feel guilty about her as well, or at least it seems to me. I should be happy to minister to her as she ministers up the line.
But I don't think I will. And I certainly don't expect my kids to do so to me. I've given them ample oportunities to know their grandparents, and if a relationship develops, fine, and if not, also fine, although too bad. But I'm not going to wind them up in some kind of net of guilt.
And I hope that as I age I'm not so feeble as to expect them to come around and hang out with me out of guilt.
But it is something to think about. N. turned 16 over the weekend. It was nice to be away, all of us, from all the stuff we're normally so busy with. It really is nice to spend time together, and we need to figure out ways to keep doing that. I think the girls even actually enjoy each other's company. M. has sort of caught up again, as is the way with them. I would like us to be able to continue to enjoy spending time with each other, but I know that they're going to go away, and people who I don't even know will become important to them and know more about them than I do. But with any luck, we can still spend some time and somehow, without means of torture, actually enjoy time together.
We shall see.
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