Lesson #2 – Sharing should mean caring

I try to live by the motto: “do unto others as you would want others do unto you”.  I am far from perfect.  I have all sorts of flaws, and I recognize this.  I don’t try to compete with other people and I try really hard not to compare myself to other people.  What is for me, will be for me, and that’s it.  At times it is hard but for the most part I really try to treat people like I would like to be treated.

That’s why when my sister and niece lived here, I would try to include them in just about everything we did. Even before my boys were born, I would include them in all sorts of things.  Millhouse would joke that he had two wives because my sister and niece were part of our unit.  I would bring them along wherever we went, even if it was something they didn’t have much interest in.  An experience is an experience and they should be shared.  When Maks came along, he joined in on the adventures and finally so did Mats.  Even when funds were tight, I would try to take all three kids to do and see things.  I wanted them to have shared experiences.

Then my sister and niece left and that stopped. There were now separate experiences that didn’t involve my kids.  At first, I couldn’t understand it.  I just didn’t get why they were doing these things my kids would like to do but purposely not asking the boys to join them.

That’s where lesson number two came in.

And unfortunately, lesson number two is exactly the same as lesson number one. I was expecting her to do something she did not want to do.

When I reflected on how she behaved when she was here, it all made sense. Sharing experiences is something I would do.  I would take them along on adventures but that was never reciprocated.  In fact, they would go out of their way not to include the boys when they went out with their friends.  They would make their plans without telling us about them and we would only find out they were off to do something fun as they were walking out the door.  When Maks was old enough to recognize they were going out, he would ask where they were going and most often the answer was “out” or “places”.  When he pressed them, that’s when the true destination would come out and nothing else.

When they left, things got worse.  One particularly hurtful time was when my sister sat with my niece and her friends, in front of Mats and made plans to go rock climbing that afternoon without either of the boys.  I spent the afternoon explaining to the boys that they had not done anything wrong, and it was not their fault they were not invited to go rock climbing.  I actually called my sister out when this happened and her response was “she knew we wanted to go but we didn’t make the plans to go rock climbing so she made them.”  She full well knew the boys wanted to go but because I didn’t make the plans, she wasn’t going to include them and she didn’t.  I guess she realized she ticked me off because after the rock climbing incident, she stopped talking about all the things she took my niece to do.  She just made her plans in secret.  That’s even worse.  There is this permanent shroud of secrecy around everything they say or do.  Some things come out in passing or by accident but most of the time they just pretend as if they are not purposely excluding the boys and by doing that it shows me they know exactly what they are doing.  That’s the worse.  It is premeditated.  She is purposely hurting my kids and is very aware of just how her actions are impacting my kids.  I know she took my niece and all her friends to Great Wold Lodge last week.  The boys were not invited.  They weren’t even asked.  She showed up two days later for a twenty minute pity visit with them.  Of all the things she has ever done, that was one of the most hurtful simply because she knows how to hurt them.  I tried really hard for them not to find out about that trip because if they knew, it would break their hearts.

My boys deserve better.

I have learned my lesson.  My sister is very willing to take the things I would give.  She will take and take and take but she will never give.  She will not hesitate to break my children’s hearts.  I cannot allow to hurt my children like this anymore.  I have sweet, caring, smart boys who need someone who will love and respect them.  She doesn’t want to do either.  If she did, she wouldn’t go out of her way to do things that she knows would hurt them.  I won’t give her that power over us anymore.  I will not allow her to use that power anymore.  She will never get the opportunity to share an experience with my kids again.  I can’t give her the opportunity to hurt them anymore.

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