My Mother-in-law’s birthday was last week but we didn’t connect until a few days later. I don’t speak much with her but we have always had a good relationship.
My MIL is an interesting woman. She suffers from panic disorders, anxiety and depression. She’s witnessed the death of two husbands and has a really screwed up family. She’s overweight, a chain smoker, always has some sort of ailment, etc. I feel her sons (Grayheart included) are often too hard on her and don’t understand or sympathize with her.
I’m not her daughter so I can’t attest to how good of a mom she was to her sons while raising them. They harbor resentment even though they all have a relationship with her. I think they’re often too abrasive with her given how sensitive she is… but it’s not my business.
She’s not the most active grandmother but she cares for my rugrats and checks up on them every so often. She remembers birthdays and always send Christmas gifts. She usually visits once a year from up North. She’s always been kind to me so I don’t have any complaints.
I feel like she’s only capable of so much given her history and disorders. I haven’t really spoken to her more than maybe twice in the last year. I know she cares. She’s just different.
So we caught up on the family and she asked how I was. I replied I was doing well and that Grayheart and I were doing a nice job handling the kids throughout the divorce. And then I let it slip that his girlfriend, Raggedy Ann, had met the kids and all was fine.
She had no idea he had a girlfriend.
They’ve been together over a year now.
I didn’t get into any details with her about it. But I sure as hell made sure she knew this was the woman that was an active participant in the destruction of our marriage.
So I’m taking it that Grayheart is still a bit embarrassed about his rough beginnings with Raggedy. And doesn’t want to be judged for it.
But as meaningless as it is, part of me felt good that he’s kept this part of his life semi-compartmentalized. I had a small and temporary feeling of superiority. Silly, I know. But sometimes it’s these little things that make you feel better.
I’m finally putting my mother-in-law’s bday card in the mail now. Better late than never.