Friday, June 8, 2012

Grandchildren living with Grandparents

Recently our granddaughter graduated from 5th grade. Next year she will attend another school. She and her dad, our son, has lived with us for six years and we've been there to help care for our granddaughter when our son had to work or was sleeping. We are like "second parents" only older. Recently her mom moved back to town. She had lived quite a distance away and visited every couple of years but kept in touch quite often. Today I feel a huge sense of loneliness and the blues. If you've raised children, you know there's a certain age when they start becoming their own person and are no longer totally dependant on parents or others for guidance. Our granddaughter hit that stage this year. We are so very proud of her. She excels at everything she does. But now, since her mom has arrived back in town, I really feel left out. It is an empty feeling today and shedding lots of tears. This isn't the first grandchild to step out and away. We also raised a grandson - raised him like our son because his mother, our daughter is mentally ill. When he joined the Army, then came home with a girlfriend, he went off to lead his own life. I have no problems with that - - it's what we want. We weren't so selfish thinking they would forever be here, we wouldn't want that, but it's the "ties that are broken" that has affected me today. I feel as tho we have become secondary whereas once we were who they looked to for guidance and knowledge and help. We have another granddaughter who we cared for during her youth. We found out through Facebook that she was having our very first great granddaughter. It was a shock to me to find out that way. She is a precious young woman and I've had so much fun with her when she's been around. And, yes, we have other grandchildren, but we weren't as close to them as we were these three. It is a different lifestyle when your grandchildren live with you - - its a dependance as tho they were your own. We are not able to move as fast or be as energenic as we were when we were raising our own children, but we get the job done. We do what we can because we want to do the best for them we can. Being older and having grandchildren, we know more than we did when we raised our own children, we see more clearly and maybe we have more love to share because we aren't expected to, we just can. But, when they live in your home, there is a bond, and strong bond, at least on our part. I've realized the past day or two since our granddaughter has been with her mother and thinking of my grandson as he is in college and working full time and living with his girlfriend, that it is I who must change now. It is time that I fill my time with things for me and my wonderful husband. I'll still have responsibilities for our granddaughter as long as she lives with us but I must fess up and realize I have to give up my "ties" now that her mom is back. She is a very loving mother, don't get me wrong and our granddaughter loves being with her - as she should. But Grandparents who have grandchildren living with them have a different role. When parents take those grandchildren "away" I know it is a heart tearing experience even tho it may only be temporary. Emptiness and void is how I feel today.


kendo lao said...
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Diop said...

Oh my God! Reading this made me want to call my parents more often. They live miles away. My mom will call me almost every week if she doesn't hear from me. I love that.

Though I don't call my parents everyday, I think about them everyday. They don't know that every activity I do, I think about a time I saw them doing that same thing. I bore my husband with my childhood stories, especially those stories they did something very memorable. They have no idea how much I think about them.

I was raised by my grandmother. My parents divorce when I was around two years old. My whole life til the age of ten was mostly spent with my grandmother. Yes, she didn't move a fast as my parents but when it came time to care for me and love me, she moved fast to the responsibility. She loved me more than anyone. This I have no doubt. My father tells me, "your grandmother loved you more than us, her own children". Because of this, my father made it a fact that grandparents love their grandchildren more than their own children. This I believe. So now my father tells me often that he loves my kids more than he loves me. This makes me happy.

The way my granny cared for me was very noble, beautiful that if I was to write about it, I'll need a blog just for her. When I turned 10 years and moved to my dad, a different city, my grandma experienced exactly the emotions you wrote about. I know because she did not hide it. She communicated it. She made it a joke. Yes, she laughed about it and we all laughed about it. She would say often,and jokingly, "You love you're mom more than me because you don't call me as much, you don't visit me as much." I would laugh when she talked like this. It was true. Any school break, I'd run to my mom.

I rarely called granny, though I loved her a lot. My grandma did not know that she was the center of many of my conversations. If you knew me then you knew my grandmother. I would tell stories of her. She was my hero, though at a young age I didn't know that. I loved her but at such a young age I didn't know how deep, I didn't even know how to express it to her.

My grandmother is no longer with us, and oh how I regret those times I could have visited or called and didn't. I lost her when I just became an adult, who understood. I lost her at a time I started to call more often, a time I started to express this love I had for her, a time when words weren't enough, I started spoiling her.

You see, when we are young, we are clueless, and we are selfish. This does not take away the love we have for those who cared for us.

When you care for a child, everything you teach them will stay with them, it becomes a part of them; hence, you become a part of them. They will remember you whether they want to or not. They will love you whether they recognize it or not.