Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Grandmother's Justice

Hello fellow bloggers, readers and passers-by,

     While I often reminisce about my up-bringing, I often see my grandmother's face. She was the one who reared me into the woman you see today. But that doesn't mean our relationship has always been perfect. No, I was not a trouble-maker, nor did I do things I shouldn't have done (mostly), but I did have respect for others always. You wouldn't catch me back talking, rolling my eyes, or doing that 'attitude laden head shake' that I've seen many teens do when speaking to their parents. For one, I wanted to keep my head firmly attached to my neck, and if I'd dared to try any of those, uh, yeah, it would be a mile away from the rest of my body. Not to mention there'd be some teeth missing if I managed to say it before the slap. But I don't think it was abuse. She never done it out of anger, and more so, she didn't have to do it but maybe twice. I learned fast.

     But today, children are less respectful. They are arrogant, self-centered, and suffer the severely damaging "ME SYNDROME". And I try my hardest to instill in my children the rights, morals, ethics, and common sense (that one is really lacking in the world) in them, hoping they will take these bits of information and put them to good use when they mature. And part of me thinks that will work wonders and they will use it to become excellent members of society.

     Enter THEIR grandmother. My mother. She has always been a unique individual. Never seeing the glass half full and believing that if you aren't for her... you are against her. And she is a co-dependent. She is an enabler, and she is 51. Now, age does not play a factor in this, other than she is at the prime of her life when those ways are getting 'set in'. And I fear the worst when she starts handing out anecdotes of advice to my children. She would never intentionally do anything to harm them, or to get them in trouble. But she sees spite as a way of dealing with anger. I see it as, "turn the other cheek, Karma has GPS!"

     Today, like any other summer vacation days, my oldest son ventured down the road to the neighbors house to see if his friend could come out and play. This friend makes it a point to frequently visit our house and Kris was the only kid not napping, so I told him he could see if she wanted to play. He comes back 10 minutes later, heartbroken. "Her mom said she was playing with her cousin and couldn't come out, but she would tell her I came by." Now, to some, this would be normal. But to my mother, this was insanity. This little girl has been to our house at EVERY event we've had. Memorial Day party, 4th of July, Labor Day, you name it... And even when our nieces and nephews are here, we do not turn her away. Kids want to play with kids, right?!?

     So, I'm silently thinking about this situation, wondering what could be done to encourage my son that sometimes it's OK to not play. But my mother, the one who said, "If you're not for me, you're against me," didn't see it that way. I try to explain to mother and to my son that it is OK, that kids will be that way and that he needs to learn to stand up for himself. Fast forward about 2 hours. Kris says, "Mom, can I see if she can come out and play now?" Sure son, go check.

     He comes back shortly, same sad look on his face. I ask what happened. He said, "her dad came to the door and said she couldn't come out at all cause her cousin was spending the night." I try to soften this to him by explaining that sometimes when girls like you, they secretly don't want to let anyone else know, so they stay away from you in mixed company. Mom, on the other hand goes into the long, drawn out story about when she was little, having a crush on her cousin, then proceeds to explain her 'view' of the situation, stating this little girl and her cousin are probably kissing cousins.... *GASP* MOTHER!!!

     Mom gets upset at me because I'm not upset like her! She goes outside to calm down, I try to explain to Kris that kissing cousins was an old term used back in the day when cousins would kiss. Brief, to the point and damn sure not dragging it out like his grandmother was. He laughs and goes outside. At this point, I'm thinking these long visits with grandmother may not be such a great idea. She has too many ways to make me look like the bad parent!

     So a little later, mother, Kris and my other two boys are all outside sitting on the swing. Mother comes in the house, hollering LaVonda! LaVonda! I'm trying to catch a cat nap because dealing with her and the kids is a little more than I expected for a Wednesday... "I want you to know that little girl and her cousin came walking down the street. Kanon (the baby) said hi to her, she looked over to her cousin, shrugged and kept walking. What are you going to do about it?"...


     I am not going to do anything about it... yet. I'm first going to take you out of the situation and see if your presence in the issue is swaying my view. Then I'm going to ask my son exactly what happened because sometimes, your anger causes you to switch the story around to benefit YOU. Then I'm going to ask the little girl the next time I see her why she can't speak to my son when her cousin ISN'T here, but she can act like a member of the family when her cousin isn't around.

     But you don't think I said THAT to her, do you? Psshhhh, head attached to neck thing... Remember?!?
I told mother the best thing to do is not show Kris or the boys that spite is a way to solve anything. I told her that my boys are going to respect a girl, no matter WHAT! And that if a girl is disrespecting them, walk away. It doesn't matter if he is 10, 18 or 35 or 99, you do not be mean to a girl! You take yourself out of the situation and make it a point not to RETURN to the situation.

     Mother on the other hand felt it necessary to remain outside for nearly 3 hours waiting to see if the little girls came back around. I don't know what she would have said to the girl if she would have came back, but I am glad she didn't. I don't think I could handle anymore drama!

    So, I guess the justice is this: if you have grandmother like my children have, be prepared to see a full-on trial and sentencing!  How old are you, mother? But it's not the age that matters, it's the level of maturity one possesses that will show their true colors.

     Until tomorrow,

PS I feel you should know that mother is diagnosed as having clinical bi-polar depression and a few other psychological issues... But she has never harmed anyone!!!  :)

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