When our kids were young and living under our roof, if they were impolite or said something inappropriate to their grandmother, we stepped up to point out (kindly, of course!) a more polite way to do or say something. But now that they are adults, is it still our job? Are we still in the social-correction business? Here's why I'm thinking about this:
A friend, let's call her C, was grousing about her son (let's call him D) who's 34, married and dad to a toddler. He was invited to an old friend's wedding--a friend from childhood whom D sees only occasionally but who came to D's wedding three years ago. Now the friend is getting married in his bride's hometown. The pandemic being a disrupter, weddings may come with all kinds of new limits and adjustments. In this case, spouses were not invited to the wedding. Going to the wedding would mean that D had to fly to a city one time zone away and be there for the weekend while his wife stayed home with the baby.
D opted not to go. He told his mom that his wife had nixed the idea.
C was livid. The wife being the nixer was only part of it. The groom's mom was C's old friend and had mentioned to C that her son had been disappointed that D was not at the wedding. So C wrote her son an email telling him he should have gone to the wedding, that his old friend had come to his wedding, that she and the grandpop would have helped D's wife with the baby while D was away.
Although her son has not responded, C has no second thoughts about shooting off the email. She tells me, "I'm still his mother and it is still my job to call him out when he does something wrong. No one else will do it."
Is she right?
painting: William Chase, "A Friendly Call"