I’ve struggled with the idea of writing these blogs for awhile now - trying to figure out the best way to handle it. But I’ve decided it’s time - it’s time to express my feelings about grandparents. I’m doing this because I feel they’re a common topic when you become a parent - dealing with YOUR parents. I plan to write two blogs on two different subjects I struggle with. Then, hopefully I won’t have to bring it up again.
Let me start by saying Cole is extremely lucky to have grandparents who would do absolutely anything for him. They love him unconditionally. I feel sometimes they love him a little too much.
For my parents, he sometimes embodies the son they never had. It’s their chance to experience all those great boy moments like seeing him throw a ball for the first time or say “touchdown” every time he sees football on TV. For my mother-in-law, it’s as if Cole takes her right back to raising Curt, her only child (and the only male in the house for many years). She sees so much of Curt in Cole that she has a strong attachment to him. Sometimes that mega-attachment creeps me out a little - mainly because I don't understand it.
They get to see Cole about once a month and we’re very lucky for that. But my mother-in-law says she almost aches to see him again and is so sad when she leaves. Here are a couple “oogy” stories that make me think - how close is too close for grandparents and grandchildren?
First, my mother-in-law actually asked if she could get professional photos taken of just her and Cole. Your first thought might be, “that’s sweet.” But the overprotective mother in me thinks that’s weird. My answer to that was if we got family photos taken at a studio near her and she wanted to pay for a few extra shots of just her and Cole, that was fine. But I wasn’t going to subject a toddler through a photo session and come out with no traditional family photos. Thankfully, the idea fizzled out in the process.
Along those same lines, my parents wanted to take a photo of them and Cole for their Christmas card - just them and Cole. I replied by saying if they want to include Cole in their Christmas card photo, I prefer it be a photo of the entire family (Curt and myself included). What I really wanted to say is, “Cole is not YOUR CHILD, he’s your DAUGHTER’S CHILD.” But that might be a little harsh.
Little things like this continue to come up in our relationship and that will probably never change. My immediate family unit is very important to me. I don’t think it’s wrong to feel that family photos should include either just the three of us or all of us or that he only needs one stocking from Santa or one Easter basket from the Easter bunny.
I’m sure with these two blog entries on how to deal with grandparents, some of you might say, “Get over it.” I’m sure I need to let most of this go, but I’ve never experienced such strong feelings coming from a grandparent before. Mine were great and I never felt I was missing out - but I felt they had a certain role, and didn‘t cross that line.