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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.
OK. I exaggerate. I know. It is really just that my feelings are hurt. Some.
Here's the thing. I (and WE) have made the effort to get out to visit them at least twice each year since the birth of my grandson. We have driven, 1200 miles each way, across the barren, desolate, dusty, hot middle of the country at least six or seven times. And I flew out once at Christmas on top of that. Figure gas, hotels, meals, and various entertainment expenses, and each one of those trips ends up costing us somewhere in the neighborhood of $1700. Multiply by six, and we've made a pretty significant investment. AND, those trips are brutal; grueling. We love seeing them all, but we come home exhausted. We are not getting younger.
Last summer, my son and daughter in law took the grandkid, and traveled 900 miles to visit her grandfather. I didn't say anything, although I did notice that HER grandfather got the nod ahead of me. I'm an adult. I can take turns and play nice. My son assured me that THIS year, they would travel to see us. That was last summer.
Since then, they have embarked on a major house remodel (largely driven by HER mother) with the intent to sell the house when the update is finished. It is a tiny, little house in a not very nice neighborhood, and they are very motivated to move out of there so that they can put the little guy in school in a better district. OK. Got it. They've spent a lot of money, and my son has worked like a fiend to make it happen. It has been a tough year, during which daughter-in-law and grandson have lived with HER mother. The other grandmother gets her share -- but then she is right there, calling the shots, and swaying the vote with infusions of cash. That is a game I cannot play; don't feel that I ought to have to play...
Now, my son tells me they are "tapped out." They can't afford to travel this summer. And I believe him. He works, and daughter-in-law stays home. He is working furiously to try and make a life for them all, and without much help. Maybe that is the choice he would have made -- but I'm not sure of that. Whatever, there is no money for a visit to us.
I planned for the promised visit. Counted on it. Did not budget for the trip myself this year. And we have the likelihood that T will have a major surgery this summer as well. So. I haven't got anyway to travel to them. Not this year. The earliest opportunity for me to get out that way will be next spring. By then, the boy will be almost 5. He'll be big. He will surely not really remember me. I will be the far away, sometimes talked about "Gramma" that sends presents now and then. That makes me sad... and a little bit angry.
It isn't anyone's fault really. I know. I made the choice to move away. I could have stayed close. I chose the life that is here. I cannot be there, so I cannot expect anything other than what is happening. Even if I were able to continue to make the twice yearly trip back and forth, it would still come to be that the boy will grow up without me. He will do that. No amount of yelling and crying and kicking things is going to change one darned thing -- I just need to suck it up and act the grown up here. But, oh... it hurts.