Friday, July 31, 2009

Mom's Mix-Up

My relationship with my mom has certainly gone through some ups and downs. One of the lowest points was, for sure, the planning of my wedding when she alternated between totally disassociating herself from the process (I paid for the band and chose them myself, chose bridesmaid dresses by myself, etc.) and totally dominating the process (she created an atrocious seating plan that separated DH's work friends - putting some of them with her friends under a misguided notion that tables must be equally male and female).

Through the years since then, we've come to a sort of detente and I even enjoy spending time with her, but there are still moments between us that remind me that we both make assumptions about each other with disastrous results.

In planning a recent trip to NE with my sons, I told her the dates of my visit without specifying that I would, as usual, spend most of the time with my sister but would work out some time to see them for at least one afternoon or evening. I assumed that she'd realize this - that's what I've done for the last dozen or so visits. She assumed that I meant I'd be staying with her - hearkening back to what I used to do before my parents moved from their 18-room house to a 2 bedroom condo. And so there was disappointment on her side and guilt on mine when the reality finally struck.

Although I felt badly about the mix-up, I couldn't help but be reminded me of the time she came to NYC and I planned a birthday party for her (I baked a cake and everything!) but she was too busy with her elder hostel stuff and didn't bother coming to my apartment. My older son was a toddler at the time, so cleaning up the apartment, making a fancy dinner, etc. was rather a big deal for me. The plan was that they would arrive in the late afternoon, check into their elder hostel lodgings and give me a call about details of getting together. Except they never called. I left messages for them - and worried that something had happened. Late the next day, she finally called back.

And so during a week-long visit, with them staying just a 20-minute cab ride away, my parents saw their daughter and grandson exactly once - when we trekked down to have dinner with them in their hostel cafeteria.

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