Make the Love

I had a wonderful weekend. We celebrated both grandkids’ birthdays. We laughed, spoiled, loved, gossiped, and enjoyed the company of parents, grandparents, great grandparents (grandpa is 90 next month!) my grandkids, friends with their kids and grandkids, plus a couple of dogs thrown in.

Today I read the following column at Ask Amy (http://tiny.cc/za2wmy)….

DEAR AMY: I have four adult children and three grandchildren. They all live 2.5 hours away and have very successful, fulfilling lives. My husband and I couldn’t be prouder. They usually call every week or so and I send an occasional text or email. The problem is our daughter-in-law, who wants nothing to do with us. She is the mother of our only grandchildren. She refuses to visit, especially on the holidays. When we visit, she is pleasant but seems to barely tolerate us.

We want to see more of our grandsons but we are not permitted to babysit, and if I ask to take them to the park, etc., she ignores me, hoping I will let it go (which I do to keep the peace).

I have spent many a sleepless night trying to figure out what I have done to her and cannot think of a thing. Honestly, in the 10 years they have been married I have never said a mean word or offered advice, even with new babies.

I say nothing to my son. I know he sees her treatment of us and feels guilty, but fighting about it isn’t worth it to him. The boys love to see us and I have heard the oldest asking if he can go home with Grandma and Grandpa and Mom always says no!

This made me very sad.

I don’t know the daughter’s side, I don’t know the grandparents’ side. But to keep grandparents from enjoying the best time of their entire lives —

What happens to families?

I know I take for granted the love and affection I share with my two sons and their kids. Love, friendship, all come naturally for us. We’re not all like two peas in a pod all the time, mind you, but we enjoy each other’s company and get together whenever we can.

Grandparents are the old souls, the old angels, leading the innocent young angels through the mess we call life. We try and lighten their burdens, play their games, listen to their secrets. We give them a safe space their parents can’t, just because they’re parents.

It’s a parent’s job to protect, guide, and teach their precious packages to ensure they make it through life with a good head on their shoulders.

It’s a grandparent’s job to spoil, cuddle, play and dream with those same packages, ensuring they make it through life with good dreams in their heads.

I look at Dear Amy’s question and my heart breaks for everyone involved. The grandkids will never have that close relationship with two people who love them so much; the mother will never find peace with the mother and father of her husband; and the grandparents will have to deal with empty arms and empty dreams.

Like I said. I don’t know the whole story — I never will. There is nothing I can do to change that family and their sorrows.

But what I can do is share this story so that you will go home tonight and hug your kids and grandkids and when you see your friends or your sister hug their kids and grandkids. Play catch or Chinese checkers with them. Tell them a story of when you were a kid.

Don’t just take the love — MAKE the love.

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Make the Love

  1. Not a pleasant situation, and like you, I’ve been very fortunate in life, to have such a loving family, regretfully the young lady in question here, will in time rue the error’s of her past, and and it’ll all be too late, and I’ve found that she’ll be the one left suffering the most, life has a habit of the wheels turning around and eventually running yourself over ….. Claudia, I’m so glad you had a wonderful weekend with your extended family. I’ve siblings now, and beautiful nieces to cherish. xx

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    1. I am so happy you have the love and support of an extended family. We indeed are blessed. I just want to help those who are so estranged to find a way to make up for their little kids. For soon little will be big and they will be able to figure things out for themselves.

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      1. You’re right there, the kids perceive at lot more about family relationships, and sorrowfully, can be emotionally distressed without selfish parents taking time to notice…..

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    1. Me too. I don’t know both sides of the stories either, but it makes me sad to hear the grandma’s sad side. So much confusion between people — and so unnecessary. Wish they could all let it go and put the kiddies first.

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      1. For me the rights of a child are far more important than the rights of an adult !!! People often see their kids as if they are their possesion, they are NOT ! The world would be such a better place if all parents treated their kids with respect and love, lots of love !

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      2. You are right. As I said, I don’t know these people’s circumstances. There are some where the grandparents are to fault, other times their children. The innocents are always the children. And that’s sad no matter how the coin flips.

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  2. I like the idea of families. But there are always two sides to every story, like you stated, you don’t know what the daughter in law is thinking. But a relationship between a mother in law and daughter in law is often full of tension. My side of my story is my mother in law has tried to thwart me at every turn. She rearranges things in my house, hmpfs her way through things, disparages my mothering skills and makes passive aggressive comments about me in front of my daughter. How do you think that makes my daughter feel when someone is talking bad about her mother. I don’t know either side, but I do know how I feel about my mother in law. The stories I could tell. I wasn’t big on ironing my then toddlers clothes. She told me that her greatest compliment ever received was when someone told her that her kids were always “well pressed”. I could go on, but you get the point.

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    1. And I do hear you. I have friends who have problems such as you, and there is no simple answer. I’m a simpleton when it comes to relationships — I don’t know why a mother-in-law would be so cruel to her family. Jealous that her son loves someone else? The daughter in law reminds her of someone she hates? I don’t have the answers either, my friend. Both adults can go on hating in their lives, but don’t leave empty little grand children in their wake. Thank you so much for sharing. It means alot.

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      1. Isn’t that sad when a mom can’t let go? I feel for you gf…I really do. I try NOT to interfere with my daughter-in-laws responsibilities. Maybe that’s why she lets me see the grandkids. Your MIL is a sad sack, sorry to say.

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      2. My daughter is 15. She’s nice to her grandmother, calls her and such, but they’re not close. She doesn’t like the way mil treats me. And my mil can be so nasty/passive aggressivevtowards me, it belittles my daughter. She also says thing’s like, don’t talk about your accomplishments in front of your cousin. It makes her feel bad.

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      3. Oh Oh! I get it! Well, that broken bond is all about the MIL, not your daughter. She’s doing her “grandaughter duty”, and at least SHE will feel good about it. It’s MIL’s loss. Too bad. She has no idea what she’s missing, does she?

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  3. So sad! Omg. I bet that is so frustrating, and extremely depressing 😦 you make very good points– the grandparents are here to spoil! and guide the young souls. It’s a shame that the grandparents wont have a close relationship…you can tell by the sound of her voice that she loves her granbabys 😦 so sad.

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    1. It is. All you can do is encourage those you do know who have some sort of strained relationship to get back on center. To try and find a mutual ground so that the kids don’t suffer. You don’t have to be besties with your inlaws — but don’t punish your kids because of it.

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