Monday, February 16, 2009


My dad has seemed somewhat depressed lately, OK he's seemed somewhat depressed since my brother died (and before), but lately he's been really depressed.  I thought I'd cheer him up by sending him one of those greeting cards where they kids can say the message.  I thought I was being sweet by sending this and that maybe it would cheer him up.  (Oh the last email I got from him he asked if I would have the kids email him sometimes so that he could feel in touch.)  

So he calls to say thank you.  Then he drops that he didn't send the kids anything because they hadn't thanked him for a DVD he sent and hadn't been appreciative of something else and hadn't written a thank you note for something.  Well um this is the first I've heard of this.  Also, excuse me, but I didn't know he expected a thank you note for a used DVD he sent.  I mean don't get me wrong, he is very sweet to want to share his interests with my kids and I really want him to.  But really, could you mention something before you let the resentment build up to where you don't send your grandkids a Valentine.   OK yes, Valentine's is one of those made up days to make money for Hallmark and if he never sent them one that would be OK (my mom doesn't send them).  But don't send them and then stop because of built up resentment you haven't shared with anyone.  I mean they really appreciate them and talk about them a lot.  How do you convey that?

Maybe the word for the day should be communication.  Oh and don't get me started on the whole thank you note thing.  I KNOW we should write them.  I feel GUILTY for not writing them.  They are SO appreciated (especially by the older set) and we should write them.  Hand written, not emailed, hand written, not phone called.

But really, how do you convey to someone who doesn't see the joy, how much joy there is? 


Africanellen said...

Ok, that's just wrong! I stuggle with this all the time. It's so harsh to punish them by witholding, particularly because the message is really for you (as in "well, if you taught your children good manners, they would have written me a thank you note" you bad, bad mom). I've come to the conclusion that my mom behaves this way because my "family" is less and less about her and more about my kids. Anyway, you're right and I sympathize! By the way, I bought "The Middle Place" in the airport in Detroit and loved it!

TP Mom said...

I'm still reading it. It's so good.

And yes, it's really about me and my guilt and what falls off the list--like thank you notes.

And birthdays. Fortunately I think I'm learning to live with the fact that I have a birthday defect.