Thursday, February 23, 2006
Several weeks ago I posted about the need for a sling to visit my in-laws. That trip never happened.
My father-in-law was named executor of the estate of one of his firm's clients. In dispersing the property, a resort style hotel needed to be sold. A buyer was in place. But she was a whack job. (At the birth of my son, she repeatedly called my father-in-law...like every 2 minutes the cell phone rang regardless of his constantly telling her the timing was not right for a business call. We still don't understand why he never turned the damned cell phone off)
Things were held up and the sale had not been finalized (at one point because she decided that "3" was her lucky number and therefore even though it was more than the agreed upon price, all 7 digits must be 3). Then in his presence, she threatened the life of one of her backers and his family. We don't know all the details, but my father-in-law was frightened enough of the crazy that he filed harassment charges. This was all going on the weekend we were there and we felt that if she were crazy enough to threaten her financial backer's family (weapon of choice: fire while the family is sleeping) we didn't think it wise to be in my father-in-law's home after he pressed charges.
My in-laws didn't understand why this was a problem for us and why we would not come anyway.
The date got changed because of some remodeling being done at the real estate office Mr. W does network design/administration for on the side. We were going to be there for a four day weekend last week. My father-in-law got a serious cold, was tested for strep throat, and was placed on antibiotics. And they didn't understand why we wouldn't come.
This week we were going to go again. My father-in-law bought a hot dog at a gas station and within hours was violently ill. He swore it was just food poisoning, but we told them we couldn't take that risk. This morning they tried to convince us that it was a reaction to the antibiotics (you know, the ones he's been taking with no ill effects since last Friday).
They are actually upset that we refuse to stay with them this weekend -- we will be staying in a hotel about an hour and a half away from them (they are 30 minutes from the real estate office, we will be 45 minutes in the opposite direction) and will not be seeing them at all.
Now, I may have mentioned before that I find my in-laws to be odd. They just don't have a "family" vibe. They care about each other and their children but are cold and distant. Things are hidden in niceties. Dinners have to be fancy and frilly and all for show (and then my father-in-law will make a crude sex joke which is even more ill-placed in the setting designed by my mother-in-law and makes one feel that much more uncomfortable).
Things have gotten to the point of unforgivable with them, though. My mother-in-law actually said to Mr. W, "But you have to come. We were looking forward to seeing the baby. We haven't seen him since Thanksgiving."
They live four hours away and haven't seen their ONLY grandchild, the son of their oldest child (and only son) since Thanksgiving. For that matter, they've only seen him twice in his life -- the week he was born and Thanksgiving. We have invited them several times but have been told each time, "We have plans."
I'm hurt for my child who doesn't know his grandparents. I fear for the day that I have to put him in their arms, knowing that he'll cry at being held by a stranger (yes, I think it will be several more months and at a point where he recognizes the difference between someone he knows and a stranger before they see him). I am agonizing at the prospect of him in their home for a holiday meal as a toddler. This is a house where you aren't allowed to use the handrails on the stairway because, "it's brass and it will leave fingerprints," a house where men are forced to sit down to pee because, "it might splash and get on the rug." And my son will be there with grandparents he hardly knows and I fear for how uncomfortable he will be there.
But most of all, I'm hurt for Mr. W. Last night he was holding the lowercase and he said, "I don't know what the hell is wrong with your grandparents. You don't know them and they don't know you. But I think they love you. Anyway, we do and that is all that matters." Later in the night, he told me how hurt he was by all of it. How he wanted to scream at his mother for saying we had to come because they haven't seen the baby since Thanksgiving. He said that he didn't because he feared that he would never stop yelling at them for that once the floodgates were open, that this is something he feels is unforgivable. And all I could do was hug him and tell him that I love him and his son loves him and that he has my family who love him as if he were one of their own.
It's just so damned difficult. Watching my husband in obvious emotional pain, knowing that he feels rejected by his parents and that he, too, is acutely feeling the same pain for our son that I feel.
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