So for Mother’s day I bought my Mom tickets to see Riverdance. She is a huge fan but would never go on her own and if I bought her tickets near her she would not go with a friend. So that means she comes up here to my house. My kids laugh because they see how “bossy” she is and “still treats you like you’re 12”. I laugh it off but yeah that is what happens.
She loved the show and my tickets were better than I realized, we were actually 3 rows from the stage. It was wonderful, they are so talented. I was let down a bit by the costumes but it was amazing just the same. We also brought my BFF as it was her birthday present from me. My Mom thought it was funny how enthralled my BFF was by it all. She had never seen a live performance by this troupe so she was all eyes. But both enjoyed it so I was relieved it went so well.
This morning when we got up my Mom asked me a ton of questions. Why were M1 and M2 at the Littles house for a sleepover? Why was N left with a sitter? I explained that the Little’s Grandfather and I swap kids time to time so we both get a break. We both win and the kids love spending time together. N was with the sitter because she doesn’t really know the Little’s AND she is not self regulating right now so putting her in a situation where she might run off or shut down or heaven forbid get violent nope not going to happen. I could see the judgement in her eyes and I just sighed. This was our dance, I avoid telling her things and she judges everything that I do tell her.
My Mom said nothing for a minute and then said “What are you going to do with M1? Has she really failed out of 11th grade?” I held my breath for a moment and cursed my sister, she tells my Mom everything and I have to remember not to be so open with her either….grr…..My Mom noticed my silence and said “You know I don’t judge you for absolutely everything. Sometimes I understand that there are genetics playing a role.” I weighed in my mind answering the question correctly or just being evasive, which is what I usually do. I decided to be honest, what the heck she is already judging so no point in hiding. I explained I am planning that M1 will just drop out of school, move in with her boyfriend and then be pregnant. My Mother looked aghast at me, like I had just assaulted her.
Finally she says “Well doesn’t any of this bother you?” I assured her it did but that after all I have done to help M1 and all she has refused to do there was not much left for me to do. I know the homeless shelters in the area for when she gets kicked out of her boyfriend’s and no I am not going to support her if she cannot get a job. My Mom looked at me for a minute and then said “So tough love??” I explained that the last 12 years have been M1 lying, stealing and getting me into legal trouble so that in this case love is not enough. I will have resources to refer her to but no when she packs her crap and walks out I will not be a revolving door. My Mom shot me an accusatory look and I quickly said “Look you kicked me out at 17 so you cannot judge my plan for her. I never caused you legal issues or lied or stole from you but you were sick of me and kicked me out. You are not in a position to judge me.”
As soon as I uttered it I regretted it. I mean it is the truth but its an ugly truth, you know one of those family things we don’t discuss. After all two of my siblings lived at home through college and my parents paid the legal bills for the third sibling. I was asked to leave when I graduated from high school and never returned or took any money from them at any point. The look on my Mom’s face still fills me with regret, I knew I should not have said it, I did but I was so done with judging when I myself got kicked out for yelling and slamming doors. Yes seriously that was my offense, that I would yell at them and slam doors.
My Mom quietly said “Yes I know we did that, but tough love is sometimes best and you turned out all right.” Oh my freaking goodness….really…..kicking a kid out for no reason and now judging me for not wanting to take back in the kid who has robbed me of hundreds of dollars and cost me nearly $8,000 in legal bills? I focused on my breathing because I knew I was ugly and didn’t want to lash out again. My Mom looked at me and said “You know you are probably right. I know you would not throw her out and that you will be a resource but I do understand your need to protect your other kids. Not that I know what happened here but if she cost you legal fees then I assume it is serious.” I assured her it was and that the decision was a difficult one for me to come to but that unless M1 changed herself I could not continue to be her victim. She told me that I was not to blame for everything she supposed after all I was setting a good example and I was espousing values which were clear in M2 and N. I thanked her and got up to leave, lets end the moment so that it does not go ugly.
When she goes to leave she says to me “I am sorry I had no idea. I understand why you don’t tell me anything but I don’t always judge you.” I gave her a hug and a kiss and told her I loved her. Yeah you don’t always judge me just a lot of the time but hey this time at least she understands my decision and with time that means she will be supportive. Did I mention I hate our dance? I much prefer Riverdance.