It’s not a secret to those who know me that I had what, at best, could be called an interesting childhood and, at worst, could be called abusive.
I’ve gotten past the immature urge to blame all of my woes on my parents [usually] and Tucker and I have created our own [usually] awesome family.
When we moved back to Arkansas from Florida, I was very apprehensive about how my folks would act with Cara. Would it be a replay of how they were with me? Would it be better to give them the chance to be grandparents [and potentially hurt my kids] or would it be better to limit their interaction thereby limiting any potential harm?
In the end, the decision was made that both of my parents deserved the chance and we would deal with any fallout if and when it happened.
What I learned was that the parents who raised you won’t necessarily become your children’s grandparents.
While my mom and I had some major issues while I was growing up and on into my adult years, she has turned into the most amazing grandma.
If ten years ago you had told me that my mother would not raise her voice to my daughter, I would have laughed in your face. If you had told me that she would watch HOURS of Noggin and ask for more as long as her granddaughter was happy, I would have asked you if you knew my mom.
The mother of my childhood screamed and cussed. She said mean and hurtful things. She indiscriminately piled on punishments and “restrictions” with little thought of if the punishment was fair or if it matched the “crime”.
The grandmother of Cara’s childhood sings songs and plays with Cara’s dolls. She makes special trips to our apartment to spend an hour watching Cara ignore her while Cara watches Dora.
The grandmother of Cara’s childhood bears NO resemblance to the mother of my childhood.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same of my father.
The father of my childhood rarely [if ever] kept his promises. He routinely drank beer while we drove to Little Rock and I drove – this started when I was ten. [I’m a really good driver since I’ve had so much practice.] My father said horrible things about my mom in an attempt to manipulate me. My father is bat shit crazy yet refuses to acknowledge it and thinks that everyone else has the problem.
In the four years that we lived in Florida, my dad promised on at least twelve different occasions to come to Florida to see us. When his granddaughter was born, he couldn’t be bothered to visit.
There was always an excuse.
Now that we’re within three hours of him, he has been to see us three times – each “visit” lasting less than twenty minutes. When I begrudgingly invited him to Cara’s two year birthday party, he said that he would be here if he “could make it”.
I have no way of knowing if the father of my childhood is the grandfather of Cara’s since he has not tried to be a grandfather. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that he is a man who cannot change. I would be lying if I said that I’m sad that he has hardly any contact with Cara.
In the end I think that, baring your parents being ax murderers or convicted felons, they should be given a shot. I think that people deserve second [and sometimes third and fourth] chances.
My mom proved that to me and for that, if for no other reaon, I thank her from the bottom of my heart.