I was trolling through the blogs that I read every day and this came up at the end of Leah's post. And I thought, wow, that is exactly the kind of thing that I should be thinking right now.
Being the passive-aggressive total wuss that I am, I will probably elect to walk away and distance myself from her as opposed to confronting her about what has happened. It's not just that I am a passive-aggressive wuss. This situation presents itself summer and summer. Summer after summer, it's an issue. And when fall comes, it ceases to be an issue because her children are 5 and 7 years younger than my youngest child, so they go to different schools, meaning the amount of time they are really able to spend together decreases directly in proportion to whether or not school is in session.
Once the daily contact between the kids stops, so, mostly, do the issues. So if I can make it just one more day (since school starts tomorrow) by breathing deeply, the situation is about to diffuse itself in 24 hours. Since I don't actually spend any time with this woman, other than when our children are getting together, tomorrow this will no longer be an issue. Until next summer; but maybe not...
Joey should be hitting puberty any time now. Even with the autism, I have to believe that he is going to eventually lose interest in "playing" with children who are so much younger than he is. I have put up with a situation to which I would normally not expose myself because he enjoys the company of her children a great deal. Because Joey is still learning what it is to actually "be friends" with someone, the advantages of his spending time with them have (mostly) outweighed the disadvantages.
Am I still angry? Yes. But I can choose how I am going to feel about the situation. I have a lot of other crap that is way more important going on in my life than what is happening with this neighbor right now. I think that because of the other crap, I am feeling more vulnerable and have allowed this person to believe that I might be more open than I actually am to what she believes. Maybe this is because I do not know what I believe and what she believes looks like it makes her really happy.
If I don't feel it in my heart and it is not speaking to me as "truth," then I think it is time to walk away from it and not allow her to believe that I am open to it any longer. Whether or not this will require yet another conversation remains to be seen. I am really leaning towards the distance thing at the moment, because is a confrontation really worth it over something that I have managed to "manage" for six years?
This does not mean that the actions that have annoyed me and angered me are okay. It does not mean that lying to me repeatedly is okay. And technically, I should be hollering foul. But I talked to Joey and it would appear that she has not been preaching to him, nor have her children. With that being the case, I can let things lie as they are for now. The next time I start to get the religion lecture, I will cut it off and let her know that I am no longer open on the subject and that I consider it closed. I believe in diplomacy if possible and I see no reason to make an enemy of a neighbor.
Plus, the fact is, that if I did get angry and confront her, she would simply tell me that she will pray for me...and I'm not exactly sure how I feel about that.