Last Sunday, my daughter told me that my youngest son and his family would be visiting the area, and that he had called her to say that he was coming to see her. I told her that I hadn’t been told of his imminent visit. Then I forgot about it, due to my recent hospitalization.
Then, on Friday afternoon, he sent me a text to tell me they were nearby, and asked if I felt well enough for a visit. I texted back and assured him that I did and that it would be wonderful to see them. Douglas and I started cleaning the place, thinking that they were coming on Friday. When it’s just the two of you, housework is sporadic.
I waited all of Friday for another text stating that they were on their way, excited to see my youngest grandchildren. But there were no more texts on Friday, and Saturday morning when I awoke with verve at the thought of a visit, I checked my text messages and there wasn’t anything from my son.
Later Saturday morning, I had to text him to say that my tummy was acting up and maybe it wasn’t the best day for a visit. He responded that they had planned to go on a hike anyway, which meant he had no plans to see me and that was why there had been no return text from my Friday text.
I knew they were leaving today at noon to go back home and that they had a four-hour trip ahead of them. I texted him my address and inquired about the possibility of seeing them today. He responded that they would try, but that they were leaving to go home soon.
Well, it has been over two hours and no text and no son’s family, so I realize that they are probably on the road heading home. I sent a text to say that I hoped that maybe next time they come, I could spend some time with them, and assured him that it was not a problem that I missed seeing them, as I knew that coming to see me would have added another hour or more to his trip.
I wanted to rant and rave, with froth coming out of my mouth, along with words inappropriate for a Christian. I thought of all of the purchases I had made for him and children for holidays and birthdays, and how dare him not have time for me, the woman who sacrificed for him amd raised him!
But, our children don’t owe us anything, including their time or visits. Parenting isn’t a reciprocal relationship; indeed, when you think of the time, effort, prayers, and all of the other activities of raising a child, there is no way they can “pay us back.”
There is a song by the great gospel singer, Pastor Shirley Caesar, called “No Charge.” Some of the words are: For the 9 months I carried you holding you inside me $ no charge. For the nights I sat up with doctored you and prayed for you $ no charge. For the time and tears and the costs through the years, there is no charge. When you add it all up the full cost of my love is $ no charge.
Although I would have liked to have seen him, especially as I have not spent time with any of my children and grandchildren since the virus hit, he doesn’t owe me a visit. We don’t sign contracts with our children that specify quid pro quo.
I will say that, even though I understand that our children shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if they don’t come visit or call, feeling ignored or neglected still hurts, and there’s no changing that fact. But, life goes on!