I have an interesting subject to talk about today. Grandparents. Part of our day today was spent at my parents house, and we had a nice time. We picked Sydney up from school and went straight over there. My sister's little girl was there, as was my sister's new dog. He's part Great Dane, and holy crap he's going to be huge. Well, the three kids played in the yard as it was really nice out, while the adults sat on the porch talking. And yelling at the kids to stop doing something or other. Well, most of the adults, my dad was not feeling well, so he stayed inside. It got me to thinking about the relationships kids have with their grandparents, and how circumstances affect those relationships. I was lucky growing up and my parents stayed together, and both of their parents were together, and alive. I say alive, because a lot of my friends had lost some or all of their grandparents(from here forward grandparents will be abbreviated GP, I'm tired of typing that long ass word out.) Not only were my all of my GPs alive, but they lived within close proximity of us. One pair lived about 200 yards away(I guess a little like Everyone Loves Raymond, but I was the first born kid and didn't notice anything weird.) I got to spend a lot of time with all four of them, so I was lucky. I didn't lose any GPs until I was 32, and now have lost all but my paternal grandfather(who honestly, I thought would be the first to go!) So where I'm going with this is that so far, my kids are lucky that way also. So many kids today are from broken homes and have parents who have remarried, and have up to four sets of GPs. That has to confuse and water down any relationship the kids have with the GPs. I was particularly close with my mom's mom. She had two girls, so when I came along, I was literally like the son she never had. She even told me that in the later years of her life. It tore me up when she passed, because I'm not sure I ever really let her know how much she meant to me. Now, I have kids of my own who are not able to be as close to their GPs as I'd like. I take full responsibility on that. We live 100 miles from my wife's parents and 20 miles from mine. We don't take the time to visit as much as we should. We had a really nice time today, and should do it more often. We don't travel to my in-laws as much as we should, and neither set of GPs comes to our house. Ever. It really bothers me that even though the opportunity is there, my kids are not going to have the relationship that I had with my GPs. Grandparents are a really big deal in a kids life. They get to spoil them and then send them home for the parents to fix! And believe me, that's the truth. My daughter spent about five days with the wife's parents this summer, and it took me two weeks to get her back on the straight and narrow. She was used to getting everything she wanted, as opposed to most everything she wants here. I had to let her know that just because G&G gave her ice cream every night, that wasn't the way things went at home. We sometimes have brownies instead of ice cream. I had to make sure she knew and accepted that, no matter how hard she resisted the tough love.
I heard the saying once that the reason kids get along with GPs so well is because they have a common enemy. I can see that now that I'm in the middle of that tug of war. My daughter thinks I'm the greatest man to walk the earth, and my mother-in-law, well let's just say, not so much. Even my own mother has her questions about me I think(just kidding mom!) But, and there is always a but, there is going to come a time when my daughter is not going to be four and see Daddy as the savior of all things. The maker of all things possible. The GOAT. That's Greatest Of All Time for those of you who just don't know... There will be a time when I have to tell both of my kids the dreaded "no" word, and it will turn their opinion of me to the WOAT. I won't define that one, if you can't figure it out after I defined GOAT, then I guess I just don't know what to tell you. Well, when that opinion changes, guess who they will bitch to about me? The GPs! And the GPs will agree with my kids that I a worthless and don't know what I'm doing as a parent. They will of course be right about my parenting skills, but that's beside the point. I would love it if I(we) don't become a common enemy, but somehow found something else that would be able to bring my kids closer the their GPs.
If anyone has any ideas on this, please feel free to comment. I really would appreciate the feedback.
Okay, I'm done for the night. Always remember, being nice to people will never cost you a nickle.