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The big visit from mom

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There is a bit of mom-bashing in what follows. Not mom-bashing for the sake of it, or mom-bashing of mothers-in-general or anything like that. There are way too many people already having a field day with that. 

But sadly, I just can't write about my mom in the same kind of adoring tone that I hope my little guys will someday use when they talk about their loving mama. Now that I'm a mom, and I can imagine how heartbreaking it must be for my mom that this is our relationship, it makes me kind of sad. But it is what it is.


Two Three Four months have passed since my mom was here for a visit. Enough time to get back to "normal" life and figure out what to make of it all.

My relationship with my mom isn't easy. Partly because we have a rocky past, partly because I am impatient and unforgiving with her, and partly because she has a really (really!) strong and obnoxious personality, with endless ways to IRRITATE THE HELL OUT OF ME.

I can't help it - she drives me absolutely crazy.

So I knew that three entire weeks with her living in our house would be a challenge. In fact, I have a really hard time not being a total bitch to her. It is completely unfair, because it isn't the deep, underlying, problematic stuff of our past that drives me to such bitchiness. Which, after all, would be more understandable, and could even potentially be resolved with a few full-on Talks.

Instead, it is her overbearingly loud voice, her non-stop chatter and instruction about food preparation, her belief and her need that everyone around her must realize what a gem of pure genius she actually is, and her incessant attempts to elicit our praise and wonder and celebration for her superior wit and cleverness. It makes me not even want to say "this is delicious" to a yummy meal prepared by her.

(I am such a bitch.)

My mom tolerates all this from me. Partially because she is not so tuned in to other people's moods and social cues as to realize that we're not always adoring her. And partially because she really loves me, and Macondo Papa, and especially the kids, and is willing to take quite a bit of crap to still be part of our lives.

And I invite her and even (mostly) look forward to her visits because I want her to be part of my kids' lives. I grant that she is a wonderful "Bubby". She is helpful, patient (in her own way), very loving, very generous.

So how was the visit?

Well, since the unbearable heat and the black flies and the flooded river pretty much kept us inside for her whole visit, there isn't much to tell in terms of what we did. Sticker books, chicken soup, indoor volleyball/baseball/soccer, storytime, and repeat.

As expected, what really stands out is the visit she had with the monster. In that respect it was all good. It was Great.

And I guess we had a few of our own one little 'moments', too. Not good, or great, just 'moments'. Which, to be sure, is more than nothing, and way better than unbearable tension and explosive anger.

Details coming soon...

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