Monday, October 16, 2006

a short break

I HAVE to finish this motion, it MUST be filed tomorrow, but I have to clear/process a little something. So, at least I have the divine luxury of parents who still possess enough of their faculties to care for my children, all many of them, for over night and I get a break and anyone who read the prior self-pity-athon and were thinking that I should get some real problems, yes, I know how lucky I am. My dad is unlikely to ever read this blog, but I also can't do all his faults justice in all the blogs in all the world, but he always kept a roof over our heads and he's probably operating at the utmost extent of his emotional IQ, so I'l give the guy a break tonight, but he's generally a clod and there just isn't much I admire about him, and when I go postal or do something irrational or unworthy, I always double up on the shame by thinking, oh that was so Ed Hanson like.
So I drove out to pick up the kids after their long weekend in Idaho with G'ma and G'pa and in the course of a few rolled eyes, disgusted looks, and mean comments, it became clear to me that my father actively dislikes Nora, a lot. He shows much more patience and affection with my other three than my other nieces and nephews and for that I am grateful, but I just kind of assumed that he would at least try to like Nora. But he's not even trying and can bearly tolerate her. I mentioned my observation to my mother and she said, yeah, I just keep them apart. And in my whole history of condemning my dad for all that I think is deficient in his personality, here, again, I get to double shame myself for letting the Ed Hanson out in me regarding Nora. She pushes his buttons, I share his buttons, she pushes all of the same buttons in me, and I just cannot make myself love her yet and I'm letting myself do a Ed Hanson, and it's lazy and self-centered and emotionally stunted and I'm ashamed. My dad did this to one of my brothers: never learned to like him and never learned not to show his dislike/disdain, although I don't doubt that he loves him in the stingy way my dad thinks he can get away with because he thought he had permission from the world to let my mother do the emotional heavy lifting in our family. Well I don't have a spouse, I don't have an excuse, I don't approve of excuses, I can't short-change Nora, she needs the safety and support I'm capable of giving to her if I can scrub the Ed Hanson out of my genes.


Anonymous said...

Hey, don't beat your self up. You sound like you are in a funk. I know where coming from. You need to give Nora more and that's hard, it takes a ton out of you, but someday you look back when she the one standing in your place - thanking God that you had love somewhere in you for her. Who in Nora's short life has loved her? You have - and it may not be the same sweet affectionate love that you have for your other girls - but there is this tough love that wears us out, and we go to bed each night wondering? How bad did I screw up with my kid today? I have one just like Nora – he knows just the buttons to push and is so good at pushing them. Sometime I feel like I’m back on a Mock Trial Team, dealing with a cross-examination from a 9 year old – and at the end of the day- through all the frustration, I wonder where the strength and love comes from – it just does. Give Nora time, she is so much like my Ian. I know your dad personality too - only mine is my mom. I have even less use for her than you for your dad. At least my mom came out and told me when we brought LiLi home from China that she hates kids and the grandchildren. I had to grow up with her distaste for kids and I wonder if that is why I sometime have a hard time with Ian. Oh – gosh – sorry to write so much. Hang in there.


Anonymous said...

Oh my oh my oh my. Why is it that some kids are so much easier to love than others? Of course, what amazed and still amazes me is why some people love some kids and not the other kids. How come I love this one and YOU don't? How the heck can you love THAT one? (This from someone who prefers 2 year olds to 3 year olds, and teens to tweens. Not too many of US!!)

As I remember, Mr. Ed didn't want ANY "chink" grandkids, and it's sure clear he loves 3 of the 4. Pretty amazing, actually. The other thing to remember is that love doesn't come in only one color/size/shape/flavor. What you feel for Nora may not be the same as what you feel for Ellie or Yuyu or Mimi, but may still be the love that Nora needs. I can't honestly say I feel the same about each of my two kids nor about either of my two grands, but I do know I love each of them beyond the stars. They're all different from each other - thank the lord! - and so is my love for them.

Now - were there days when I would have traded either one for a chocolate donut and a two hour nap? You BET! Just that no one would take 'em...

Gamma Jean