It's my fault. I expected too much. I assumed my mother's cross-country move to within minutes of our house meant she planned to take on a much bigger role in her grandchildren's lives. My assumption had some basis - I am not that naive.
When I was deciding between law schools, and leaning very heavily towards one in Washington D.C., my mother planned to move with us to "lend a hand with the children so [I] could concentrate on school." Naturally, I assumed her reasons for moving here would be the same, since I am still in law school, but it has become clear to me, I was mistaken.
She grudgingly accompanies us on family outings but complains when we don't invite her along; a person can only take so much rejection. Last year, she groused to several people when we did not invite her to the Winter X games with us. So this year, when making our plans to attend the games, I phoned her and invited her to come with us. She declined: "I'm saving my money for my own vacation." We told her no money was expected - we would cover the cost of her room and food. She still said "no."
She is rarely available to watch the children for us, which I admit, is something I thought she would do. I understand she has a life and we try very hard not to intrude upon her, but more and more I am puzzled by her behavior.
She tells me "family should be able to count upon one another." But, it's a riddle because we cannot count upon her to help when needed. It's a riddle that makes no sense, that conforms to no reason, and is completely contrary to her behavior. I am quite confused by it all but today, here and now on this blog, I resolve to not be mistaken again.