Each year I make a trip to visit my mom. She is about a 3 hour flight away. She lives in a boarding house with no car, so a visit involves a flight, renting a car, and getting a hotel room. The last 8 years, I have made this trip with family in tow, believing it was the right thing to do and that my children should know their grandmother. It was 6 years ago that my mom last visited me in my home. I have offered to pay for her to fly down, but she refuses for a variety of reasons. Perhaps I should have limited my travel or also been stubborn, but I didn't and kept up the annual visits, feeling guilty that they weren't more frequent or longer.
This year I accompanied my brother as he travelled with my neice to see Mom. My neice is 3 years old and this was her first time meeting my Mom. Mom won't get on an airplane for my brother either - at least she is conistent.
I left my family at home and was a little suprised that no one complained about not being included . . .
The visit was 3 days, 2 nights. We spent a total of 5 "visits" together over that time, each 3 - 4 hours long.
I was detached and very guarded as I feel tender lately working through issues associated with my relationship with my mother. I engaged in some debate once when she got into her usual mantra of how awful her working mother was, how she wasn't there for my mom, how she should never have been a mom, etc. She then immediately says that I'm not that way and that I'm doing it all. Meanwhile, I'm visiting my mom while my son is home, receiving a Boy Scout award - snother Boy Scouting event I've missed. The discussion leaves me feeling miserable, and I realize I shouldn't have let it go in that direction.
I took the role of timekeeping, using the neice's naps as an excuse to put time limits on each visit. It was a little bit of a drag to be the nag and timekeeper, but deep down I appreciated being in charge and Steve was accepting and even appreciative.
Being with my brother was awesome. He's met someone he imagines he will marry. I met her and liked her. My neice is growing up to be very independent and has a wonderful imaginiation.
Not sure when I'll go back, though, or who will come with me.