Well, this week is not going to go nearly as planned.
If all had gone to plan, I wouldn't be blogging right now, I would be driving down to the airport with my husband to pick up his mother on her first ever visit to our home (in the 6 years we've been living here). But here I am, blogging and bitching behind my computer screen.
K got a call from his mother yesterday. Her anxiety level is too high for her to get on the plane. She's so scared that she can't even pack. And all of the high alert, 9/11 talk on tv isn't helping.
I won't go into the whole family dynamics and history, but I'll say this much, this visit was going to calm a lot of tensions.
K is the golden child of his original household. The responsible, reliable one. He is the one that gets the phone call to bail other members of his family out of whatever mess they are in whether it be to referee when they are arguing with each other, or to send money for an emergency. Almost every phone call leaves K feeling guilty. Guilty that he's not there to ease tensions. Guilty that they can't afford medications and he can't afford to send enough money to fix that. Guilty that they feel ostracized from his life.
He doesn't deserve any of this guilt. They moved to a different state before K and I left Boston to be near my family (as well as a member of his family). We've made the trip to visit them, and K has made a trip or two to visit without me. They've had a standing invitation to visit us at any time and every summer we hear talk that they are planning to come, and every summer it simply never happens.
In the six years since getting married, they have never visited us. They have never seen the house we've bought or the life their son has built.
Somehow, despite not having money for medications, they are able to visit their granddaughter 2-4 times per year. Somehow, my MIL is able to get on a plane to go and see her younger son and visit his little girl. And every time we hear about her granddaughters latest escapades, we are reminded that for some reason they can't manage to visit us, but they were able to visit her, AGAIN.
I'm insulted by this. Their son isn't important enough to sacrifice one trip with their granddaughter in order to be able to visit him. Will he suddenly be visitable once he manages to breed? Is a baby worth visiting but he isn't? That's the message I'm getting. They'll sacrifice the money to buy diabetes medication and spend it on another visit to her, but when asked to come and visit us, they can't afford it.
So for that last several weeks, we've been eagerly anticipating a week long visit from MIL. K put in for a week of paid time off so that he could spend time with her while she's here. I turned down $600 worth of video gigs this week (which we desperately need) so that I would here to go out to lunches and such. My own mother put off her birthday celebration so that MIL could join the whole family and be treated to dinner at the Space Needle. We rearranged the furniture in our home to ensure that we had places for her to sit and be comfortable and have been cleaning and straightening up for a week. We bought new bedding and borrowed an aerobed.
And I have been converting my girls nursery into a guest room for her. The door that has been closed for 6 years, only to be opened for a brief couple of weeks to prepare for our babies, I opened that door for her and turned it into a space for her to be comfortable.
And 24 hours before she was supposed to get on a plane, and all of this good will was to happen, she cancelled. She's too scared to get on the plane. And K says he understands that anxiety. But he also says he doesn't buy it. She manages to get on a plane to visit the little girl, but she can't manage to get on a plane to visit her own little boy. And all of the complaints about money, she just threw away the hundreds of dollars that were spent on that plane ticket.
If they ever again ask why I don't like them, they will finally receive an honest answer. They constantly hurt the most important person in the world to me. They insult him (and me). They treat him like the answer to their problems, but never offer them the reward of their affection that he has earned with his reliability.
Anyone who makes my husband feel unworthy, guilty, and second best is someone that I don't like.
And while I can't control how they treat their own son and what he's willing to continue to accept from them, I can promise this - they will never get the opportunity to make my children feel like they are second rate. My children will never be insulted by these people. My children will never question why their other granddaughter is loved, but they aren't.
MIL just blew it, big time.