Grandparents and the like…

From another post

I have been through the wars on issues like this one so I will try to elucidate you with some solutions I have come up with. I have various anecdotes but I will be brief with facts and cut to the emotions. There are two things at stake here. The illusions about what a family is must be the first to go. Families are what they do and not what they say they will do.I am not sure what the battles between you are, but I think that there is a generation of grandparents who are not very good. The grandparents of my parents generation were around for there kids and provided a helping hand. Nowadays kids are put in daycare because grandparents are flyfishing in the Bahamas. Or going to Nepal and getting high in Katmandu. In other words they have money and can travel. So they feel that they have no obligation to there grandchildren. It is hard to create that bond when your dad’s 10 K split is better than yours. They have been living on a gravy train that other generations haven’t ever had the luxury to ride on. They look better, move better, and feel better than their antecedents and don’t want to give it up. And from a distance they have opinions about how we raise our kids. Always from a distance. There was always something good when your Grandparents took you for a day off and filled you with sweets and did it again the next week. Or when they came to the beach and played soccer or cricket (when we were in Wales) for even a few seconds. Or sawed down an adult tennis racquet so I could join in.
It is not just your situation. In my own situation we have had very little support by way of babysitting or helping out around our house…or just giving us a break. So we don’ty try to give them what they want all the time. We live in Toronto and they live in Kelowna, so 3000 miles or so separate us and although they visit sometimes they don’t help at all when they come. We just put up with that but it would be nice to go out with my wife once in a while.

But most crucially you have to remember that your group…your family really doesn’t include them…at its core. Family is the smallest unit. The three or four in my case that goes to the mall when it is raining. Them…just them Everyone else is, although nice to have at times, an interloper and not part of the prime number. I have brothers and sisters who are both close and far geographically and emotionally but are not really part of my family anymore.And although they would help out in a pinch time has taught me that they are more interested in their families than they are in mine.

The same way that people have fantasies about playing sports or becoming famous, they are only dreams and the reality takes hard work and is measure by results and not feelings. Peoples feeling are based on illusions. Results are based on facts. The dream of being a grandparent is the same such illusion and the facts are in their deeds. They are your kids not theirs.

Becoming a father has taught me a lot. I have lost friends, alienated other parents, and angered my Kin all in the name of protecting my family. But as I look over at my snot nosed lot , I am thankful that I did.

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