I don’t know if I ever mentioned on here the somewhat rocky relationship I have had with Wal’s parents. It’s not something I like to talk about because well, it was too painful. It’s not easy accepting the fact that the parents of the man you love, the man you moved thousands of miles to be with wants nothing to do with you. It’s even more painful to say out loud that they want nothing to do with their grandchild. That year after year had gone by and they’ve never laid eyes on her. That they missed her birth, christening, birthdays and Christmases. While my parents would give up their right arms to have the chance to spend time with Squidge Wal’s parents shunned us. Wal would head over to visit them once a month. I would suggest he take Squidge with him. The usual reply would be a joke and a laugh. Year after year and still no interaction until one night I’d had enough. Wal and I got into an arguement about something long forgotten but it ended with me giving him an ultamatum– either he took Squidge to see his parents or Squidge and I would move to America. I had somehow turned it into a lack of respect for Squidge and I. That it was an insult to us that this was allowed to go on as long as it had. I know, can you believe I said that? I think I just had enough. I missed my family. It was a doozy of a fight!
A few weeks later I posted our Christmas card to them. Soon after that Wal bundled up a 4 1/2 yr old Squidge and headed over to see them for the first time. I was sick to my stomach with worry. I didn’t know if she would slam the door in their faces. I didn’t know if she’d be horrible and say horrible things to and about my baby girl! The entire time they were away I paced and worried. A few hours later they came back and Wal said it went fine. Amazingly so. It was a bit awkward at first but that was to be expected. She greeted them like nothing had happened, as if she hadn’t missed almost 5 years of Squidge’s life. I thought OK the woman is insane but for Squidge I’m going to encourage this relationship. I would rather she have a relationship with her than not. I grew up in a large extended family. I know and grew up with and played with all of my first cousins. I was close to most of my second cousins. I am aware of and keep up to date with 3rd and 4th cousins. In other words family is important to me so I was willing to put up with her crazy attitude for Squidge’s sake. That was December 2010.
Fast-forward to May 2012 and the transformation is mind boggling. Squidge visits a couple of times a month, depending on Wal’s travel schedule. She ply’s Squidge with enough chocolate and ice cream to sink a ship. She clips and saves things from the newspaper she thinks might be of interest to me or to Squidge. When Squidge had her ballet show in March she came to the matinee show and acted like we see each other all the time. It was bizarre. A couple of weeks ago Wal’s father had an operation and the three of us went down to the hospital to pick him up and drop him off at home. Our car broke down on the way home from the hospital and we got a tow to his parents house. I hadn’t seen her… them in a months (years but for the brief time at Squidge’s ballet show) and was a bit nervous showing up at her house. I shouldn’t have been. The woman’s ability to delude herself is strong. You’d have thought we were the best of friends the way she was carrying on. I just rolled with it, although I did throw Wal some WTF glances his way. The following day we all headed back down to his parents house again w/ the parts we needed to repair his car. I brought some cake and she made some tea. While Simon fixed his car we three girls flew a kite, Squidge and Grandma Audrey kicked a football around and played hide and seek. It was a fun afternoon. An afternoon we wouldn’t have had if I had gotten defensive and nasty and not allowed Squidge to have a relationship with her grandmother. I’m glad I took the high road. I’m glad I didn’t allow my feelings for the woman to get in the way of their relationship. I’ve said all along I don’t care, need or want a relationship with the
crazy old bat woman but I do want Squidge to have a relationship with her. It’s amazing what a different 18 months make!