Those were the words I texted to C and repeated over and over again to K last night.
Last year, CA decided that she and KM were going to take the little girls to their cabin for Easter and not spend it with our family. It was very upsetting. For all of us and especially for E and M. They didn't understand why they weren't going to be with their sisters on such a special holiday. I confronted CA and the compromise was a last minute "party" at my house on Good Friday with egg coloring and a hunt. It sucked.
Last week CA texted me that they were once again not going to be here for Easter and would I do the same thing on Good Friday as they head out to the cabin. I didn't respond. I was too angry. My first reaction was that she could explain to E why they aren't spending this holiday together again. So I waited until I felt better about being calmer. I talked long and hard about it with C about the best way to approach her. We came up with the solution that if they (CA and KM) didnt' want to spend Easter with the family then how about leave the little girls with me for the weekend and then I'd bring everyone to the cabin on Monday.
She texted me last night, pushing me for an answer. I called her directly (enough of the passive aggressive texts) and explained my reservations about the sisters not being together and my offer. She sounded angry and said "fine we'll be at mom and dad's Easter Sunday and you guys get your way."
I should have just ended it there. I totally blew it.
I said, "Why are you so mad? What is wrong with being with family on a holiday?"
The floodgates opened. She escalated the conversation into "You don't trust us with them!" "You always judge us!" "You always get your way!" Angry, irrational, hurtful words followed.
Again, I should have ended it there. I didn't. I went right with her and brought up all the concerns I (we) have about the little girls. All the practical, basic care issues we have. Why she shuts all of us out. I tried to understand why the four of them establishing themselves as a family means that they distance themselves from the rest of the family.
I should have ended it. What I got back was awful. According to CA, she doesn't ask for advice or share with me because she doesn't want to be a mom like me. It's obvious that I put a priority on the boys and only care about them and treat the girls as second class citizens...and they (the girls) know it. I should prioritize the girls' needs first because they lost their parents. Oh, and the boys are rude and dirty. What? (for the record, my children are well groomed, kind and awesome kids). My favorite was that she wants to take all four girls and run away to Australia...away from us terrible people who put our biological children first.
A simple Easter request spun up into a tirade about her perception of our family as people who fundamentally reject her. Yes, I admit that I have been judgemental of her recently given the condition of the little girls when they've visited my house, things sad by CA and decisions they are making that run contrary to what Jeanne and Mike would want. Sometimes I just can't turn my mommy radar off. Casually addressing the issues got the same reaction as me being direct and advocating for the MG and KT. At this point, I don't know how to talk to her.
She is so sensitive and clinging to 25 year old grievances. When I talk to her like I would talk to my other sisters, about the kids or life, I get either a lecture (she is a teacher) or lies and defensiveness. It is also really difficult to hear her talk about how the girls were forced on them and they were given no choice. I guess there is some truth in that, but its hard to hear. What I do know is that I am done being the spokesperson for the rest of the family about issues with the little girls. I am tired of always being the bad guy. I am once again drained and don't have the energy both emotionally and physically.
I also know that I need to salvage this relationship and keep trying to make things better for the girls. They deserve it. Moreover, all of the kids need to see positive adult relationships and not feel further instability as a result of the accident (there I go again thinking of my own children).
If I really think hard and am honest with myself, it all comes down to the fact that I really don't want CA and KM with the little girls. This has nothing to do with them as a gay couple, but everything about how they have handled the situation and their decisions. This has obviously not been a natural transition for them and I just don't feel right about it. I don't think we really thought through the decision or weren't emotionally able to make one. This gut feeling is probably why I focus on lots of superficial issues (clothing, being clean, their house, and school). The fact that the girls are loved and happy should be enough.
I wish I were a better person. I certainly am not pleased with myself about how I handled the situation with CA. Thank goodness for blogging, therapy and patient friends. Somehow I need to find the fortitude to be a better sister, aunt, wife and mom. As with most things, recognizing it is at least a step in the right direction.