Monday, July 31, 2017

Quick To Criticize & Find Fault

Interestingly, my oldest son, always quick to criticize and find fault with me, has told me we "never entertained". 

As I look through pictures of so many holidays at our house with all my husband's immediate and extended family; birthday celebrations with parties for adults and children; weekend meals together with the three Grandparents.... I see a family joined together and lots of celebrating and sharing.

I was an only child, my Mom came to live with us two months after our oldest son was born. Long story. Mentioned in other entries. We were a multigenerational family for decades.

So, Mom was a part of these times and a major contributor -- she loved to cook and she loved to bake and it was her way of sharing love, caring and concern.

Oldest son says we "used" Mom. She was a "servant".

So sad the way someone who was not a willing participant, someone who continuously took rather than gave, can try to destroy the good in life, the love in life.

Oldest son wasn't there when his Grandmother passed. Daughter and I were. Youngest son was on the phone.

Mama was in bed, sitting up, off in her own world..... she sat upright, turning her body and moving, constantly moving her hands and her arms. She was "working", she was "doing something" -- she was preparing for something, for someone...... until we told her everyone was there she'd waited for and she could now go and join them ..... and she did.

Two completely different pictures; one from actual history, one from "construed" history to avoid facing the reality of a loving, caring home and a family that worked together, played together and cared about and for one another --- always.

Oldest son was never involved in all the preparation: house cleaning, purchasing and preparing food, gathering special items together and all the work (along with the joy) of "entertaining".  Maybe he is now. 

Maybe he's beginning to learn there's more to "entertaining" than people walking through your door and your "socializing" with them.

He just came, did what he wanted and left -- a guest rather than a member of the family.

We tried. We used the typical parental methods. And, as often happens you finally give up, decide it's not worth the time or the battle and just move forward.

We also had neighbors and other friends come to our home although not as frequently as family who shared our table, came for socializing. 

We didn't sit and watch "the game" as my son does and so many others. We actually talked, we shared and we interacted. 

That seems to be oldest son's measure of "entertaining": people other than family and watching sports on TV together.

From my point of view -- this oldest son always seemed to "disappear" when help was needed whether it was to do a chore around the house or help his Dad, Grandmother or me with something.

I remember so well the retaining wall that was coming apart and needed major work. My husband was the ultimate "do it yourself" person trained as a Boy Scout from Eagle Scout to Order of the Arrow. 

It was "the way" in those days; it was survival through challenging times and it provided other uses for limited funds and time -- just like the clothing I described in the previous entry, Splitting Hairs: Practical and Planned

Oldest son worked for a short time, then disagreed with his father about the construction and instead of working it through, walked away to leave his younger brother and father to manage the lifting of very heavy blocks to levels above both their heads.

He disagreed with the way it was being constructed. So....he refused to help. 

That 's a memory I have of him --- "my way or the highway" from his teens until today.

Truth be told, he was the one who usually "avoided" the household work and maintenance; the "bookworm" and "computer geek" with school, activities and so much more!

The younger son was more willing to help, more available and more concerned as he still is today. 

We form our traits young; we are who we are and sometimes even the best parenting produces different types of people. 

Compassion, consideration, owning mistakes and taking responsibility describes today the younger son and our daughter and lacking in the older son, unfortunately.  

I often wonder how two sons with exactly the same opportunities and possibilities including education, activities and support, can be so very different.

I am blessed with two of three who listen, learn and share.

I have ongoing contact with three of my eight grandchildren; oldest son "removed" that "privilege" several times over the years. This latest event is going on its fourth year. More in another entry.

To those of you who understand from personal experience my concerns, feel my pain and heartache, please understand the importance of not always giving in to injustice and to those who would set aside right and do wrong.

His children grow older. I have these writings and I know my daughter and most likely my other son will carry the truth forward although I believe it will be my daughter who holds her older brother and his wife accountable.

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