It was nice to reconnect. The kids are snarky teenagers now, and have incredible senses of humor. They’re confident and happy. My mom was awful to both of them, but they couldn’t be bothered to care.
What gets to me the most is the false sincerity. Sometimes she will look at her grandchildren with such love and affection that she almost seems normal. Yesterday she was looking at my niece and smiling, saying something about when she was a little girl. Then, out of nowhere, she was angry. “I AM TALKING TO YOU. LOOK AT ME.” She hadn’t addressed Sami, and she had actually been talking to Jim and I about what Sami was like when she was little, but apparently Sami had missed some sort of cue to look at her grandmother with sheepish adoration.
She looked up at her. My mom kept smiling her false smile. Sami said, “Is there more?” My mom said no, and Sami turned her attention back to her dinner.
More than anything, I’m sad for her. She has an awesome family. Three kids, four grandkids, all bright and funny and a joy to spend time with (it’s taken me 40 years to feel comfortable saying things like that about myself), but she’s unable to recognize it and enjoy our company. She’s so wrapped up inside her mind with her own warped story that she’s missed all the good stuff. And she’s hurt us so much that it might be too late to change it. I try not to think about how that must feel, because it hurts. I’m not sure if she’s even aware. I hope not.