Almost daily diary!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Boxing Day

This could turn out to be a rant, but it is not really mean to be.

This week Husband asked Tall Girl if she wanted to see her Grandma on Boxing day. Tall Girl had told me her reply, she certainly didn't want to go. I gave her a look but I was not surprised! I knew how she felt. For the last 3 or 4 years we have visited Grandma on Boxing day as she has not wanted to travel over Christmas. It has become one of those traditions, which, to be very uncharitable, we could all have done without! However I did say to Tall Girl that I hoped no one would abandon me in my old age at Christmas. I mean, no matter how much of a duty it is, it still should be done. She is old, and will not see any other family over Christmas if Husband doesn't go.

None of us ever did want to go. Grandma has never been a hands on sort of Grandma. When the children were little it took them a while to realise that my mum was a hands on Granny, who would play and read to them as much as they liked but that Grandma was different. When she said she wanted to 'see' the children, that is what she wanted, to just see them, not play or talk to them particularly. Eventually they understood this, and when we visited we took toys and things to play with, quietly...

I spoke (yes, sometimes, where the children are concerned, we can actually have a relatively normal conversation) to Husband about the trip last night. "Tall Girl said she didn't want to go, so I thought we'd leave it this year, it's never much fun and it is Tall Girls Christmas too" He said.

Leave it?! I wanted to shout! Every bloody year we've been, none of us ever wanted to go, and it was our Christmas then too! Obviously I didn't say this out loud! I did give him a veiled lecture about duty and being lonely at Christmas, but he doesn't have much of a relationship with his mother either, nor a sense of duty I fear, so I think it fell on deaf ears.

I remember leaving her house Boxing day last year and thinking, (with glee!) that it would be the last time that I would ever visit her again. A good friend reminded me there is a silver lining to every cloud, it made me laugh at the time! I am by no means a saint, not in any shape or form, we have had our disagreements over the years. I fully acknowledge that a Christmas visit is never a pleasant visit, but she is old, and it is Christmas. I hope no one forgets me at Christmas when I am old.

15 comments:

BS5 Blogger said...

Much respect to that sense of duty!

I don't think you verged into a rant either.

nick said...

I assume Grandma doesn't have any friends or neighbours she could see at Christmas, in which case, yes, it would be pretty mean not to visit her even if it's an ordeal for all concerned.

I won't be seeing my mum at Christmas but she has loads of friends and neighbours and will be happy enough without me or my sister, I'm sure. But then she did come to see me and Jenny in September. And naturally I'll be ringing her on the day.

Akelamalu said...

I wouldn't want anyone to visit me out of duty. Maybe you could telephone Granny instead of visiting to wish her Happy Christmas?

the eternal worrier said...

I think we will be having Bod (Lou B’s son) over for 2 or 3 days at Christmas. Bod’s dad wants to go to visit his parents and Bod doesn’t want to go so is staying with us (although this may change as arrangements with teenagers do!). But the Doctor tried his best to blackmail Bod into going... It’s all that political bullshit that I hate about break-ups and Christmas.

Chic Mama said...

Don't worry about it, it's not your problem anymore. He's her son....he should be the one holding the guilt at leaving his mother alone.
Can understand why you are cross though, double standards eh??

Maggie May said...

Maybe it is he who should be worried about no one visiting him at Christmas when he is old.
You have your own mother to think about and he has his. Well I guess Tall Girl is able to make up her own mind now.
I would hate people to visit me out of duty.

Nuts in May

Suburbia said...

Yes, thinking about it, I would also hate to only be visited because people felt a sense of duty, but what you don't know can't hurt you I suppose! Far better to try to be a nice person during your lifetime, so that people will want to keep in touch. Will have to remember that!

Marvin -The Hollow Hound said...

I have resolved (after my long experience with my sainted MIL,)to be a "fun" Grandma.

However, even with three ankle biters who could possibly supply me with a grandchild at any time, there is no sign upon the horizon of me being able to fulfil this ambition.

I think in a way, we reap what we sew..........

I would rather be visited because I was fun, than out of a sense of duty, when I am old.

Where is the fun for either side in that scenario?

My three always loved to visit my Pa and Ma, but were never so keen on the other side of the family.

Other side wanted to "see" them, but not to experience the joy of them, and children I think sense this lack of connection very much.

Oh and I like your subtle snow on your blog......very pretty, I remember it now from last year!

We have the prospect of real snow in the offing, it is all on the hills around here - the horrid rain has stopped and Real Winter Has Begun.

I don't think you will be forgotten when you are old, you are far too interesting!!

Imagine the tales you will be able to tell your grandkids!!!!

Letty x Who has again realised she is signed in as the bloody dog........aaaaaargh!

although seeing as the word verification for my comment reads "TROTSIN", I guess you could say my Dog has trotted into your blog for a wee look!

Marvin -The Hollow Hound said...

I have resolved (after my long experience with my sainted MIL,)to be a "fun" Grandma.

However, even with three ankle biters who could possibly supply me with a grandchild at any time, there is no sign upon the horizon of me being able to fulfil this ambition.

I think in a way, we reap what we sew..........

I would rather be visited because I was fun, than out of a sense of duty, when I am old.

Where is the fun for either side in that scenario?

My three always loved to visit my Pa and Ma, but were never so keen on the other side of the family.

Other side wanted to "see" them, but not to experience the joy of them, and children I think sense this lack of connection very much.

Oh and I like your subtle snow on your blog......very pretty, I remember it now from last year!

We have the prospect of real snow in the offing, it is all on the hills around here - the horrid rain has stopped and Real Winter Has Begun.

I don't think you will be forgotten when you are old, you are far too interesting!!

Imagine the tales you will be able to tell your grandkids!!!!

Letty x Who has again realised she is signed in as the bloody dog........aaaaaargh!

although seeing as the word verification for my comment reads "TROTSIN", I guess you could say my Dog has trotted into your blog for a wee look!

Steve said...

I don't think you'll ever be in the same situation as Grandma - you'll be a hands-on granny and a pleasure to visit!

Monalisa said...

Don't feel guilty. There's a chance Grandma might also be relieved. Traditions are lovely to keep up, but things change when kids grow up, especially with teenagers. Grandma must know that...

Furtheron said...

like the snowy background... very festive :-)

New Years Day was ours - we visited my Mum then in her little one bedroom bungalow. She'd have the heating too high and make far too much food, continually walking around with a plate of pies or whatever cagoaling you into eating them.

My ex-sister in law one year booked a restaurant without telling us and just moved the day there... because... "Well no one really likes being cramped in there!". "WHAT!!!" It doesn't matter it was Mum's day that was it, yes with the kids (6 of them) getting older it was manic but that was all part of it. Sadly I never stood up to her - I wish I had done. Too soon Mum was gone and those days just distant memories that make me still smile. Now we still have the meal in a local resturant... but with children who have kids of their own and partners now the celebration is nearly 20 of us! One thing though now... my brother has his new fiance there and the whole atmosphere is way better than it used to be... mind you two of us being recovering alcoholics in the family possibly also helps reduce the strain there... :-)

Rose said...

In order to receive you must give...seems like Grandma never gave very much love, so it's no wonder no one wants to visit her now. You're definitely not this kind of person, Suburbia, so you don't have to worry about old age--the kids and grandkids will WANT to visit you. And, of course, you will have lots of friends.

I agree this is Husband's problem now; no need for you to feel any guilt whatsoever.

cheshire wife said...

Grandma is the responsibility of Husband's family. There comes a time when habits have to change. Maybe that is now.

Letty said...

I must learn not to read your blog when I am logged in as my dog.

I still think Facebook is horrible though!

Letty x

Wishing you a good weekend, well a husband free one anyway!