My darling granddaughter should be here later this evening. Evan and Kristin will be staying with me until Kristin can navigate the stairs to their apartment--probably two weeks.
I am thrilled. And I am scared. Most of you probably remember how difficult Evan finds it to be around me for long stretches of time. He didn't speak to me for several months after he moved out a couple years ago. I'm hoping things go better this time.
I am a slow learner. Bill was here for a few hours the day after the baby was born. I made a special effort to take pictures of him with the baby and to give him lots of time to hold her and rock her. He was his most charming self, joking and laughing. I thought we might finally be learning to make all this work.
The next day, Bill called. Without preamble and in his fiercest, most demeaning tone, he demanded: "Where are my photos, Jerri? I checked both my emails and I have nothing. Why didn't you send them like I told you to?"
His voice transported me from the fairy tale I'd constructed--the one where we're cooperative grandparents and get along well enough to do major celebrations and holidays together--and dropped me smack into reality. And the reality is, he does not want to co-parent or co-grandparent with me. He is no kinder and no gentler than he ever was.
Forgiving is good. Forgetting is not.
That's as true of the situation with Evan as with Bill. Meeting him halfway is the goal, not turning myself inside out.
Wish me luck.