Monday, May 07, 2012
Trials and Tribulations
I don't know too many families who don't have some Norman Rockwell definition of "happy family" as... their goal??... their desire???... their ambition???
I know I for one have always felt a great sadness when - after some family celebration - I am not left with Norman Rockwell type pictures of a happy family reunion.
The truth of the matter is........ Norman Rockwell painted posed fictional families. Every family has it's problems - it's "characters" - it's trials and tribulations.
Mine is no different.
No matter how hard I strive to have this "happy well adjusted family" it just ain't happening.......... never has ... and I am slowly coming to the realization that it never will. (yeah yeah I know I hear you all saying "DUH"... well I have never claimed to be a bright spot)
For the last year or so......... there have been rumblings underneath the pretty happy family veneer that we present to the world. W won't come to family functions anymore because words were said - hurtful mean spiteful words - and no sincere apology has been forth coming. I have been trudging along with the plastic phoney smile plastered to my face - working harder than ever to try and create a Norman Rockwell happy family......... but it is all wearing very thin...... very thin indeed.
Now things have been said - straight out - plain as day - to me. And I am hurt. I don't think I deserved the criticism .......... I have tried for 30+ years to be a good "mom" .. to do what everyone expected of me - ok ok except maybe divorcing the girls' father.. except maybe trying to be more independent... except maybe trying to find my own life - and living it. That was wrong - oh I know that now. (tongue firmly planted in cheek folks)
But it would seem I have allowed one of my children to get away with murder....... to throw temper tantrums as bad as a 2 year old - tantrums over - are you ready for this?? her birthday. That's right - her birthday. You see she was working on the day - and the weekend after - and so it had to be postponed. I am a bad mother because I didn't make her feel special on her birthday - I didn't find a way to celebrate her birthday. (We'll ignore the fact I sent off birthday wishes at 12:01 the morning of her birthday - we'll ignore the fact that her card and gift are sitting here - we'll ignore the fact that her sister and I had arranged a party for this weekend - only to be told she was working)
So I have been mulling over an email this daughter sent me a week ago - the day before her birthday - filled with anger and hurt and pointing fingers at how hard SHE works to make everyone else's birthday special and NO ONE ever does it for her.
I sent her an email on Saturday night. I had waited till I cooled off - it took a week for me to cool down....... cause IF I had sent off an answer to that angry email immediately I would probably be "estranged" from my daughter and her family and my grandkids for the rest of my life.
If anyone had told me I spoiled my kids I would have denied it vehemently. I don't believe in spoiling - I didn't EVER spoil my kids.
BUT I am rethinking that
Perhaps I did........... and perhaps now I am reaping the rewards for that spoiling.
It makes me very sad.
I guess I failed in raising independent free spirited women. I guess - like so many others - I raised (at least one) spoiled "me me me" woman. Maybe it is way past time for me to burn those Norman Rockwell images of a happy family - and replace them with more realistic pictures of "trials and tribulations of family life". I think it is way past time for me to finally cut the umbilical cord and literally and figuratively move on with my life.........