I’ve always felt extremely close to my children, other than the odd disagreement. Sometimes, even though I was aware of the admonishment that a parent should be a parent, not a friend, I may have lapsed in that department.
I’ve been going through some stuff recently, some pressures and soul-searching, but mainly I was feeling pretty good. My writings have been going great, for a change, even though I’ve been more than lax on my blog.
A few minutes ago, Hubby and I got home from dinner and a movie, and I settled in our electric-blanket warmed bed with my tablet, anxious to read my latest emails. Imagine my surprise, thinking my life with my children and grandchildren was pretty well perfect, to read a nasty email from my daughter-in-law. Okay, maybe it wasn’t really nasty, but basically she told me she was backing off from our relationship due to some incidents with my daughter. I replied to that email, in a diplomatic way, trying – again – to restore peace.
When I scrolled down further, I found a message from my daughter. Not so much a message, but a chronicle of some chats between her and my daughter-in-law. Okay, I was royally pissed then, and immediately fired off an email to her, with a cc to my son and his wife.
You have to understand: I haven’t been sleeping well the past several nights, one due to having my daughter’s two kids overnight the night previous. And I drank a bit of wine at dinner. So I probably shot my mouth off more than I normally might have.
But I’m sick of the four of them bickering – my son and daughter and their spouses. (My other son, lucky for him, lives on P.E.I., and is removed from most of the fray.) I always seem to be caught in the middle, the end result being that everyone is mad at me. And it’s not even my fight! Yet I’m the one in tears, I’m the one losing sleep, as I am and will tonight.
I haven’t heard back from anyone yet. Of course, it’s almost midnight Friday night as I write this. They’re either all steaming or asleep.
Although I love the four of them dearly, and would give my life for any of them, I feel I am never shown any respect. I realize respect is earned, but I’ve definitely earned it. It’s a fact none of them would treat their father (we’re divorced) like they treat me. Nor would I ever in a million years treat my mother like they do me. Of course, Mom lives almost two thousand kilometers away and always has, ever since I went off to college, but I’m positive respect would be forefront on my mind.
Perhaps I haven’t followed that old adage to not be friends with my kids. Perhaps I shouldn’t have ‘interfered’ the couple of times I did, to try to get them all speaking when they weren’t. Perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to remain neutral and offer advice when asked, or when not asked. Perhaps I shouldn’t have voiced my thoughts when I’d say one was at fault when one of them truly was, in my opinion.
(Later, I’ll find I’m accused of being a “carrier” – of information. Of not sticking up for my only daughter, of not keeping confidences. And on and on… And a flurry of emails will storm back and forth.)
My eighty-five-year-old mother has told me numerous times how happy she is that the four of them are so close. Not just close in distance (approximately a four-minute car drive) or close in age (eighteen months apart between my son and daughter), but in their relationship, not to mention that their two daughters were born three weeks apart. “It’s so nice they’ll grow up together,” my mom has said on numerous occasions about my grandchildren. I’ve never wanted to burst her bubble to mention the drama between their parents and how the two little girls don’t really get together as often as one would think.
I feel blessed to have my children nearby, especially the easy access with my grandchildren. Maybe it’s also a curse.