Letting Go of the Grandma I Thought You’d Be

We recognize that sometimes the things we feel we can’t talk about are the things others also feel unable to discuss – this post has been published anonymously as part of a series to engage our community in those difficult conversations. Click here to read more posts from this series as they are published.

So many memories from my childhood are filled with time spent at my grandma’s house. So many of my hobbies I learned from my grandma. And so many times I am so very disappointed in the grandma that my children have.

 Growing up I remember my grandmother driving my siblings and me all over the state on daytrips (that I rolled my eyes at back then). She wanted us to see what our state was made of and learn the history that runs so deep in so many of the Kansas towns. She wanted us to know our cousins and ourselves, and to learn more about who she was as person. But most importantly she filled me with a sense of wonder, a desire for adventure, even if only in my own backyard.

 My mother was an amazing woman and loved (loves) me with the true love only a mother possesses. As a mom, she was all of those things I wrote about my grandma and so, so, so much more – which is why I am so disappointed in the grandma she is to my children. Sure she does fun things with them and plays with them when we have family gatherings or occasionally when I suggest getting together, and I know that she loves them and spoils them like any good grandparent would do.

But she never initiates.

I hate asking my mother for help with anything, that is the independence that runs wild within me. It is no different when it comes to my children. I won’t force her to spend time with them, and suggesting things for them to do as presents at birthdays or Christmas time instead of physical gifts has become a thing of the past for me. It gets old trying to make a relationship work for someone else, and while it makes me sad to see my children continue to grow without that strong ever-present grandmotherly bond, I know that they will look back and still savor the good times with her. They just won’t be as abundant in their memories as mine were.  

 And so, here’s to letting go.

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