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Monday, August 13, 2012

Grandma... What Does that Word Mean?

I shouldn’t have to do any disclaimers for my opinion on matters of the heart—this is my blog for cry eye, but if I hurt your feelings about my post today, then maybe you should take a step back and look at how other’s actions affect those around you. Maybe take a moment to even step outside yourself to see how actions can hurt others.

Now, with that preface… I really love my mother.  It wasn’t until after I met another person’s mother whom I am very close with that I learned to appreciate my own mama as a human being.  One thing: my mom loves me unconditionally.  And, she loves my kids unconditionally whether they are mine by birth or by marriage.  My mom makes a point to spend time with each of my babies (both young and old) and makes sure they each feel special when they visit.  She takes them for special birthday shopping trips and she loves on them. Man, does she love on them.  She gives them hugs and reassurance, things that kids these days need.  I witnessed this very thing the last time we were visiting her. While I was in the hospital she made sure my kids were ok and she told them I would be ok. She was there for them.

I don’t think I can say that about all grandmas out there.  My heart aches for my Maddy and Kennith to the point where I want to cry.  I realize that not all grandmas are like my mama and that some are very different. However, the situation I am in is just… bat shit crazy in my humble opinion.  My husband’s mother doesn’t recognize my kids as part of her family.  She makes a point to not include us in any activity… and she will go to the extent of saying it is because of us, all over a situation in which she disowned my husband and told him he was no longer part of her family (we weren’t even around and it was over a situation in which we weren’t even a part of, but he got the brunt of it)… then last  spring, she sent him a plant at school and said that spring was a time for new beginnings, however she never apologized for her behavior. She always behaves this way, and is enabled by others to act this way and she thinks it is acceptable. At some point, as a grown-up we have to put our tail between our legs and say sorry…but from the time my husband was a child, she has always been this way, very vengeful as a mother. I just wonder if she missed out on nurturing 101, or maybe she replaced that class with martyr 101 along with passive-aggressive 100.

BACKGROUND: When we got married, she made snide comments to me on the way to our wedding. She told me that she didn’t know if her brothers would approve of me. My comment back was that I had a resume with salary history I would be happy to show them. I don’t honestly think she thought what she said ON MY WEDDING DAY was even wrong. She then looked at my wedding set (which I love and it is perfect for me) and asked me if my husband got it at the second hand store. I laughed it off, but I wanted to cry…I refused to let her see me cry. But this is the behavior we deal with all the time from her, which is what lead us (as the adults) to not have contact with her on a regular basis.  As for the kids, it is their decision whether they want to do things with her or not, we don’t hold them back. Matter of fact we are supportive of their relationship with her.

What makes me sad is that this woman will take all of her other grandkids (step-grandkids included) besides Kennith and Madelynn to do special things. To the mall to get school supplies, over to her house for ice cream… to Planet  X for games and ice cream, to Adventureland, to the pool for quality time…basically everywhere while Kennith and Madelynn sit on the side lines. Now, do I want them to go with her? NO, probably not… but at the same time, feelings can get hurt. Kennith specifically because he is old enough to understand that he is left out on their “family” functions and he feels as if he is not part of that family. Even when all of the grandkids go out to the farm with my husband’s father… they all go except for Kennith and Madelynn.  Maddy is too young, but why can’t Kennith go? One of my nieces is younger than Kennith and she goes all the time. It might be nice to extend an invitation ONCE to him just because you love him, not because you feel forced to do so… as for Madelynn? Madelynn is still too young to get it…but someday she will.  Someday she will know (like Kennith) that she is just not good enough for that “grandma”.

Which leads me to this… how do I handle this? The “grandma” in question tends to twist everything and if I would have a conversation with her, she would turn it back on me and make me the evil one (which is fine, I guess--- maybe someone has to call her out because she fabricates some version of her truth to her family that is nowhere near the actual truth).

Or maybe I just keep quiet. I have a quiet resolve with her, but tonight she pissed me off.  She took “her grandkids” to Planet X and Kennith watched them leave out of the drive way broken hearted.  When I finished work, we went to get pizza (Kennith, Maddy and I) and when we pulled up in the drive “grandma” pulled in behind us and got out of her car. I rushed Kennith and Maddy in the house because I didn’t want them to be hurt AGAIN by her actions… Then she asked me how I was doing, my answer… “Just great thanks.” And that was it. I walked in the door. She does not deserve to know my health status nor anything else about my life. She wrote me off when she wrote of my husband, myself, Kennith, and Madelynn. 

I don’t have room in my life  (nor do Kennith and Madelynn) for someone who is a vampire friend. You know the people who are nice to your face while they suck the life out of you. She is a vampire relative. I have made amends with the fact that she chose to exclude Kennith, Madelynn, and myself from her life… and I look at the pictures from previous weekends with my mom and  I see a grandma who deserves the title. With a smile on her face that beams with joy and excitement for the grandkids she has. Someone who isn't afraid to be silly and crazy with them. This is who I want to pattern my life after. This is what I want my kids to see as a grandma role model.  

So when the “grandma” in question comes over to get the other kids for an adventure… I will make sure that Kennith and Madelynn know how much they are loved and we will do something special together…like make dinner together, or reading a story in crazy voices, or going to the park... for they know love cannot be bought.  Love and the title of grandma is earned....

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