If you ever have had children you can vouch for the fact that each child is different in their own way and no matter how hard parents do try to treat them all the same, it just seems to be fact of family life that equal is just not the perceptual standard.
The oldest will almost always become more independent, especially if they have one, two, three or more siblings as they will eventually end up helping care for the others. No matter how hard we try it seems inevitable that the youngest is the one everyone claims is favored or spoiled, when in actuality, I think it’s because he has seen what the older siblings did and did not do right or wrong and chose to do things that kept the parents happy and hid the things they did that did not (right brother Jim).
As your children grow up and leave the home, most eventually have at least a child or two of their own and some will even still get married in the process, some find marriage so enlightening they try it more than once.
Now comes the fun as a grandparent – how to appear to treat all the grandchildren the same!!
Guess what, it is hard to do and most times it just plain will not happen.
For one you always have that first grandchild who is the sun that makes the day flow and gets unhindered attention from all grandparents. Sometimes maybe the parent related to the grandparent isn’t married and when they have the grandkid, well they come spend it at the grandparent home – which means more bonding time. Get the picture here, special bonding that continues forever.
Sometimes you have grandkids, who due to a parent’s circumstance may even come live with the grandparents for a while, and trust me, when that happens the bonding is something special and unites grandkid and grandparent for life in a very-unique and special way.
Sometimes in a divorce your grandkid ends up with the parent who was only related by marriage, that’s when you use a rule I learned from an aunt and uncle of my first wife – ‘they divorced each other, they didn’t divorce the whole damn family!’. (Personal note injected here – I took those words to heart and by acting in that manner I still have a great relationship with my two oldest grandsons, despite not living with their Dad, my son.)
Then you get them newly blended families of the next generation, you know – the ones where the child you raised gets remarried and suddenly you have more grandkids smiling at your doorstep. That alone can open a barrel full of fun and trouble depending on just how the new parent of the blend reacts to the fact that ALL GRANDKIDS BY NATURE ARE NOT EQUAL!!
For me, I think I got both sides of the barrel as my new son-in-law was already the middle son of a very dear family friend and when both his girls were born I seemed to always be around, kind of like that spare uncle that is there but not always noticeable. Because of that, plus their real grandpa passing away, when their dad became a member of my family these two precious girls already saw me like family and I made them know that it was an honor to have them call me Papa.
The other side of that barrel was a new daughter-in-law who just kind of became part of the family after being a good friend of my son and his first wife. No, I did not know her or her two sweet little gals, but I made every effort I could to make them feel welcome – even made three different contacts with the youngest when she got her first hit playing high school softball. But not knowing me from a hole in the wall until they joined the family and not knowing how to handle a hugging family (something my wife and I are very big on), things got sideways somewhere along the way and that new parent of the family decides her girls should be treated absolutely as equal of every other one of the grandkids – guess what, no matter how hard we tried it just was not going happen, because like the children we raised every grandkid is unique in their own way and each one has a unique relationship with the grandparents.
Best thing to do is swallow it, enjoy the total effort of love you are getting and get over it – because this Papa will never care or love those kids any less than any others, but the perception will always be different because that is just the way it is and has been for generations.
For now, that will do it, though this is a subject I am sure to come back to someday – that’s just the way I am.
And there you have it, yapping in response to something he may have seen and liked or disliked, a memory remembered or forgotten, in the light of humor or the look of seriousness, no matter what ‘Grumpy Gramps’ has given you his opportunity to get his thoughts ‘off my chest’. So maybe you can enjoy, enlighten and think about what he may have said. And if you want, feel free to respond with a comment or two on his blog and ‘Grumpy Gramps’ promises to give you some type of response. Word of caution, ‘Grumpy Gramps’ has a line that shall not be crossed regarding name calling, racism, hatred or threats and more – and if that line gets crossed, well you’ll see at that point.
As for those wondering about why I call this ‘Grumpy Gramps’, it’s because I have been around the walk of life for a long while now and for those who know me, I have my thoughts and opinions which seem to spew out on occasion much to the chagrin of my wife and a few of my grandkids. When that happens, the grandkids look at me with squinted eyes and say, ‘being grumpy, gramps’.
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Prayers, blessings and happy thoughts – ‘Grumpy Gramps’.
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