Saturday, October 16, 2010

Grandparents

Tomorrow we are having a surprise dinner with my Dad and Stepmom, so I thought I'd write about my kids' relationship with my parents.

My parents divorced when I was 9 and remarried when I was 9 and 10.  So, I have 4 parents.  My Dad and Stepmom ("Grandma and Grandpa") and My Mother and Stepfather ( "Bubba and Pop").

My parents adored the little Diva when I adopted her 15 years ago as an infant.  She was the only grandchild they had for 5 years and she was special.  Eventually, more grandchildren were added to the family through my brothers.  But she was the FIRST.

My Dad was especially taken with her...and he's not especially fond of little kids.  But she was a charmer.  My dad is very into genealogy and has spent much time tracing his Irish roots.  He has biological grandkids now.  Yet, when he took a trip around Europe on business for 3 weeks when Ms. D was 11 years old, he took her.  My African American daughter was the child they chose to share my Dad's Irish roots with and my Stepmom's Eastern European roots.  When she came home she called herself a "Citizen of the World" and said she was "Half Irish and half Lithuanian" because of all the distant "relatives" she had met.

So, when I set out to adopt one child that turned into 3, all my parents were opposed.  They felt I was ruining Ms. D's life.  They let me know that I was on my own with this decision.  The kids had a difficult adjustment.  Ms D had a miserable adjustment.  No one was happy.  My family softened a bit when it was a reality and felt bad that it was so hard, but they still felt sorry for Ms. D.

Fast forward 2 years:  We went to visit both sets of grandparents this past summer.  They all live 1700 miles away.  My Dad said my kids are "wonderful".  Wonderful!   He's the quintessential grandpa and cherishes that role.  He let me be the disciplinarian parent while he got to enjoy his role.

Except for one thing.  He was appalled at how the princess, Ms. D, still treats her siblings and he had a private talk with her.  A tough love kind of talk.  It made a difference.  Grandpa took the photo that is at the top of my blog.

So, we've come full circle.  My parents love all the kids.  I am just so happy that my children get to  have that special grandparent relationship.  It's a gift.

2 comments:

sadiesmom said...

You and your children are so lucky to have the support of grandparents! My inlaws still feel like we have stolen a piece of their grandsons life by adopting our little girls. Thank you for writing your blog. I can't wait to read more. It is so good to know that we are not in this parenting challenge alone.

mindfulness said...

Thanks for the comment. I agree that it's great to read about others who have similar challenges. I finally figured out how to post a pic in the post so I posted a pic of my dad with 3 of my kids this summer.