Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What does it all mean?

When a granddaughter comes to visit, anyone would think that one child would be easy.
What isn't obvious to an outsider though, is that with my 87, almost 88, year old mother living here, that gives me TWO children. and she is the most difficult.
She swears.
She talks constantly.
She talks over anyone else who is trying to talk.
She is demanding.
If you ask her NOT to do something, she gives you that LOOK, and then in so many words she tells you that she will do what she wants.
She is a bad influence on OTHER kids.
She eats sugar, and carbs, and crap, every chance she gets, and she offers it up to other 8 year olds. In fact, she insists!
She is VERY much 8.

It is extremely hard to be a responsible grandparent to one, without being a shrew to the other.
The title of that movie occurs to me.
"It's Complicated."

Fast forward, did I mention, she is also depressed.  Gets upset with imagined slights.   Crying on the telephone, she pulls my heart nearly out of my chest, yet again, as she will up to and including her last day on this  earth.
I come home, grand in tow.  We make her lunch.  We help her tidy up.  We try to fill up her day, imagining that we can.
She loves to watch me I clean the refrigerator, she talks.  I start baking muffins, she talks.
The recipe calls for sour cream, I put in ricotta.  She talks.
God grant me the serenity...................

And I wonder why weaving soothes my soul.........
The answer is because it is so predictable.
Warp.  Weft.

Getting ready for a weaving weekend bootcamp on Friday.  That requires some general cleaning up, and some shopping for groceries. My father used to tell me that there was no rest for the wicked.  What he neglected to say was that the gene pool that he gave me would ensure that I would be most generally on a dead run throughout my life.
Thanks, Dad.
But I am secretly grateful.  REALLY grateful, since my mother spends at least 12 hours a day in front of the television, a fate I want to avoid at all cost.  Just the theme songs from "Little House on the Prairie" and "The Waltons" make me shiver with dread.

Sock monkeys make more sense to me.

I never imagined being as old as I've become, but I know I would not have expected it to be quite like this.
I have a gift for my children.
They don't know it yet.
When I am REALLY old, they will get my gift, even if they don't exactly get why it is one.
Maybe when they are driving home after visiting me and my looms, and they sigh and relax into their ride, they will look forward to returning to their lives, and they will have realized their separateness. 
And even if they don't recognize it for what it is, I will know.
And isn't that the point of a gift, anyway.


Karen said...

Hilary, I wish I had better words. Or a solution... or advice that would soothe or help you change the circumstances.

Deb said...

All our problems seem lighter when we are absorbed in what we love to do. I understand that, for sure. You are learning from this and doing the best for your own kids. I hope to be so content and busy in my old age that mine will be out looking for me (or not). You are so fortunate to have found what makes you happiest...brings you home. Take a deep breath and carry on.

messymimi said...

They say being a mother is one of the toughest jobs there is, but having to care for aging parents has to come in a close second. Do you have a caregivers support group? You may want to look into that.

Your children will understand someday, i'm sure.

Unknown said...

I agree with the others, I wish I could help somehow.
I hear the same things from my older sister, and everytime I offer to have Mom come stay with me so my sister can have a break, she kind of brushes me off. I think she just feels better when she vents some.
I have decided that if/when the time comes, I will choose to live in assisted care or something of the sort, because I don't want to see the expression on the faces of my kids when I'm being an "old Mom", unless my mind has left me, because then I wouldn't notice, but I pick up on body language and it would kill me knowing that I was unwanted, and I'd probably die first than have them wipe my butt.
TMI I know. ;-)
Keep on hanging in there and vent away to all of us!

Lydia La La said...

All this AND the Headache!!! You're a marvel, girl. I know what you mean about 'the Look'. You need a break but how is the big question. A night away is enough. Enjoy the weekend of weaving coming up.. love and a nice soft hug from me...

DJan said...

My mom only lived to be 69, and I still miss her. Sometimes I wonder what kind of an old biddy she would have been. Sorry to hear how difficult it is for you these days. But the weaving, the beauty! It's fantastically relaxing just to LOOK at it. :-)

Daryl said...

my husband said almost the exact thing the other night 'I never expected to get to this age' .. I told him to STFU and enjoy ...I now say the same to you!

And that's one fabulous gift your kids are getting ... tho I suspect they'll know/appreciate it

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Lorraine said...

Not to be unsympathetic to your many woes of elder care giving, for you certainly seem to have your fair share, but perhaps with your creative and energetic genes you could picture your mother as a living sock know, sitting on the couch, watching the Walton's, wearing those colorful striped stockings, button eyes (mind she doesn't choke though!), huddled under a curled, floppy brimmed! Just about lost it when I read the line 'sock monkeys make more sense to me!'...Guess what I'm sayin' here is that try to find the humour in've given me my share today! Weave on!

Mary said...

My Mother's favorite meals are marshmallows and ice cream. She says she is 85 and can eat what she wants. Her medical "number"s are better than mine. Go figure.

Cait Throop said...

Weaving soothes my soul, too...And Moms can be a royal pain even when we love them!! My only advice? Take care of yourself first. always.

Cupcake Murphy said...

There is nothing more challenging, heart wrenching, frustrating and confusing than caring for an aging parent. I think it's the thing that will admit you, no questions asked, into heaven.

Welcome to my world.

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