Friday, November 28, 2008

Rude Awakening

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season has officially begun. I love this holiday, but I have a grey cloud hanging over me this year. There is tension in our extended family, and I initiated it. This is not typical for me, usually I am the peacemaker - always trying to smooth ruffled feathers and make sure everyone gets along. This could be because I am a Libra – we are commonly known for a sense of fairness and equality. I guess you could say that I come by it “astrologically,” :) but when I see something that’s just not fair I sometimes can’t help but speak up. Last Christmas, I had finally had enough.

My parents taught me that respect for your elders is not suggested, it is expected. My husband and I are teaching our daughters the same values – “what you’re told, when you’re told.” When I see children - especially adult children - being rude to their parents I am appalled. Last Christmas season, my daughters and I witnessed a total lack of parental respect – by a guest in our own home. It provoked questions from our perceptive children, so I used it as a teaching moment with the insolent behavior as an example of what not to do. I later described the situation to my husband. We decided that even though this rudeness had for years previously gone unchecked, if either of us saw a repeat performance and our daughters were again spectators, we would be obligated to speak up.

Unfortunately, the next time was the very next day. My husband, daughters and several others were present. This time we could not overlook it. I had to voice our feelings about the rude display. I never want our children to think that that kind of behavior is acceptable. I told this “kidult” that they would not be welcome in our home again until some attempt was made to correct the offensive behavior.

Sadly, our disapproval and ban were met only with excuses. I have now gone from an “in-law” to an “outlaw.” No changes have been made, no reconciliations have been offered. This causes an internal struggle for me – I want balance and fairness, I want everyone to just get along – but we will not sacrifice our choice to abide by our strong morals and our desire to instill them in our daughters.

So here we are once again in the holiday season and this year for the first time we will not be gathering with that extended family. Disappointingly, our ex-communication has continued. We will miss seeing those loved ones. We will celebrate the season under this grey cloud – and I’m okay with it. I know we are being true to ourselves and confident in our convictions. We’ll spend the holidays with other family and friends, and everyone will respect one another – even us outlaws.


WineLover said...

Good for you guys for sticking to your guns.

Kathy Hennessy said...

Hey sweetie - you KNOW your extended-extended family would LOVE to have you here, and that they support you and understand, so buck up little camper! I LOVE YOU!!!!

Kathy Hennessy said...
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Cat said...

I know the heartbreak of family un-rest . . . but it sure sounds like you're doing the right thing. You are raising great daughters!