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.