I knew this day would come

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tanya M, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    A little background:
    My one and only son fathered two beautiful children, my granddaughter and grandson.
    When my granddaughter was 3 and my grandson 3 months, my son abandoned them. My daughter in law divorced my son and has remarried. She and her new husband had another daughter who is now a year. (I claim this new little one as a granddaughter also)
    They are a 3 hour plane ride from me.

    I have a very good relationship with my former daughter in law. (she is really like a daughter to me)

    Several years ago I had a conversation with my daughter in law about "someday" if the kids have questions about their bio-father that I would be happy to help answer those questions.

    My oldest granddaughter turned 8 and I sent her a gift. After she opened it she asked her mom why she has 3 sets of grand parents. My daughter in law called to tell me that my granddaughter has started to ask questions. She told my GD to write down her questions (she keeps a journal) and she could ask them to me when husband and I go for a visit in a few weeks.

    My daughter in law did her best to explain. My GD went to her "daddy" and hugged him and told him that she is so happy that he is her daddy. She later told my daughter in law that she was angry at bio-father which I think is a very normal response.

    I plan on telling my GD that bio-father was not ready to be a daddy. I will reassure her that him leaving had nothing to do with her. I will tell her that he doesn't keep in touch with me either. I will tell her how lucky she is to have a new daddy that loves her very much. I will share with her that I too had a new daddy.

    My sons behavior and choices were like an earthquake and there are still aftershocks.

    I just pray and hope that my GD will be able to accept this and move on from it. I hope she does not harbor anger in her tender little heart.

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  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think your grandchildren are very lucky to be surrounded with such loving, supportive people - especially you. I think this was handled beautifully, and I think becuase of that your GD will handle it well in the long run. I know it hurts to have to deal with it at all, though.

    My granddaughter's father has been out of the picture since she was a year old - he went to prison after being caught in a "sting" operation and is a registered sex offender. His family had has no contact with my daughter or granddaughter (which is best, believe me). She knows my son-in-law as her father, and my daughter even had her last name legally changed to his. They'll work on adoption as soon as they can afford an attorney for it. I worry about the day they'll have to tell her the truth - and your description of how everyone was there when telling your granddaughter, sounds just perfect. I'm going to remember that.
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  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-CrazYinVA. Your Granddauhter is surrounded by a loving family. This won't be easy, and nobody said life was fair. You are filled with love and that helps sooo much.
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks CrazyinVA, while I am looking forward to going to see them I'm not looking forward to answering questions from an 8 year old. I will be honest with her and keep my answers short.
    I have always felt if a child is old enough to ask the question they deserve and honest answer.

    I will admit there is part of me that is angry that I am in this position but am more grateful than anything that I am in this position. (It makes sense in my head)
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    This is so hard.

    I told my son when he asked if his daddy left because he was bad (he was about six and yes, it made me want to kill my ex) that when you are a grownup, and you get married and have babies, you have to act like a grownup. You have to take care of the babies and work and earn money to buy food and pay bills and that his daddy never really wanted to help me do that. He thought he did, but in the end he never really wanted to grow up and he wasn't any good at doing the grown-up things. So, even though he loved him very much, he went to find someplace where he wouldn't have to work and be a grownup.

    When he was a bit older - 8 or so (biodad died when he was 7 and Jabber adopted him just prior to that) - he asked if I missed his dad. I told him no, in order to miss someone, you have to be used to them being around, and his dad had never been around. I also told him that, if he wanted to know about his dad, we could talk any time...and I would always tell the truth, although I might decide he wasn't old enough to know something and I would tell him that too. But, he had to understand that the truth isn't always nice, and he might not like what he found out.

    He didn't ask until he was 17, when he asked how he died. I wish he'd have never asked.
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks Lil,

    I like how you worded this. Good stuff.

    Again, I like this.

    I will keep these at the ready when I'm talking to my GD.

    UGGGGHHH, that must have been so hard.

    Thanks again Lil, I so appreciate your support.
  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Oh Tanya, your post was filled with such grace and love. The fact that you are still living with such uncertainty every day for so many years and still you can get outside yourself and think like this is surely grace personified.

    Remember when the birds and bees conversations first started, and we were all advised to simply answer the questions asked, not to feel like we had to give them the whole...entire...story?

    It seems like the same logic should apply here. Saying he just isn't ready to be a dad right now (who knows about the future?) is such a grace-filled way to say the truth but not too much of the truth.

    Since your granddaughter has a daddy in her life, plus so many other loving adults around her, I hope that will be enough. For now.

    The things we have to do and say when we live with and love a Difficult Child!!!! Unreal, really.

    I know you will do a fantastic and gentle job no matter what turns the conversation takes.

    Please let us know how it goes and what you learn from this.

    Hugs to you today.
  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks COM for your kind words. They truly touched my heart.

    So very true!! Sometimes I think I will have a T-shirt made that says "I survived my Difficult Child" o_O
    Gotta have some humor in there!