Earlier this week this email (it’s been edited to protect names- edits in italics) showed up in my inbox:
Hi Brent.. I just want to know that I miss talking to you. I am thrilled for you and XIE as you await the birth of your new little son. I remember when the two of you came to see YOUR YOUNGEST BROTHER and I after he was born saying you will neve have kids and I said oh give yourself another ten years things may change. Here you are….I am sure XIE is getting all prepared, reading planning, etc. I think she will do great during delivery, they have so many different ways to help with relaxation during labor. After YOUR SON is born the two of you will be so amazed at that moment and your life will change forever. You will never look at certain things the same way again. And the way a new baby smells, its a special scent that only lasts a few days then fades away to the sweet smell of baby lotion bath wash. You will see, I think its a good thing for both of you, you will have alot of fun.
Now grammar and spelling mistakes I didn’t touch, just the names to protect some people’s identity. When I told Xie about the e-mail she was miffed that my mother didn’t call. I told her that was the only smart thing my mother did for this situation. I’m sure my mother knows by now that if I heard her voice I would have just hung up the phone and she wouldn’t have had a chance to get anything out. Score one point for my mother. Though I’m going to make the wild assumption that she didn’t assume I was going to post this on my blog.
I read the e-mail out loud to Xie. I started reading it in my mothers tone and voice pattern (I do a fairly passable impression of her speaking mannerisms). I didn’t make it through the first sentence before Xie said she would smack me up side the head if I didn’t read it normal. I submitted and read it normal. The first thing Xie said after her rant on my mother e-mailing, was “So she wrote that whole thing to say ‘I told you so’.” I replied with “Yep.”
One point of view could be said that my mother is attempting to repair a bridge between a fractured relationship. Like eveyrthing else my mother attempts to do this is a selfish act. When I was younger she put guilt trips on me for not having kids because she wanted grandkids (bear in mind I’m the oldest of her 6 kids so she was bound to have grandkids). My brother already has a daughter and a son that should be born in the next couple weeks. My brother is on speaking and family terms with my mother so she has two grandkids she would have access to. My mother’s only access to me is messages that my siblings or my grandmother deliver. The only message I ever send back is that I don’t care.
As it stands right now my grandchild will never have access to her. I know how she screwed me up my siblings and myself (though I have a different world view, so I’m sure they think that I’m the one that’s screwed up). I don’t want to risk exposing my child to that. After my child is of legal driving age and can take himself over there, it will all be in his court on what he decides to do. My child won’t be forbidden from going there, but I’ve been told that I’m not welcome there and can’t come over. So I’m holding that to heart for the rest of time.
My point of view if you haven’t figured this out, is that my mom wants to be seen as the good grandmother. She follows the theory in life that it’s better to appear good then be good. Now I’m not going to say that I am any sort of saint. I am who I am. I don’t put on false airs for anyone. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I’m rough, I’m honest, and I can be brutally blunt. I’m used to that and I can deal with the consequences, because I enjoy who I am.
I haven’t put more than a passing thought into my mother in the last year. When someone mentions her I give my knee jerk “I don’t care answer” and forget about her. But this email has forced me to bring the pasts thoughts to light (just when I’m in a peaceful place again). So in the upcoming month look for some articles about the problems I have with my mother. This email may look like an honest attempt for reconciliation by some, but I know my mother’s methods. I will concede that is what she believes she is doing in her mind. She is just too naive to really look at herself for who she is though.