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Guest Kalana

Summers and Christmas

15 posts in this topic

My son has summer and Christmas custody of his daughter.  She lives in a land far away from him.  That's when my husband and I get to see her--summers and Christmas.   She's 12 and told him yesterday that she wants to come see him for just one month this summer, since she wants to have summer time with her hometown friends.  He's sad, and understands she's growing up and needs her friends.  I'm sad because he's sad, and because she's drifting away.  The drifting is natural and still one of those things that makes me say to myself, "sometimes being a grandma isn't for sissies."

 

I don't want advice about this--just thought I'd vent a bit.  If any of you have been in the same boat, I'd like to hear about your experience.

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Even grandma's suffer 'growing pains".

Sorry the time has come for your GD to begin to pull away.

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My son lives in the same city and I know very little about his life. He grew up and I am the one having the growing pains. I will keep you in my thoughts.

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I feel for you, my granddaughter lives in another state and I get to see her maybe 2 or 3 days a year, they won't even skype she is 7. I haven't done anything to them they just don't seem to want to give me any time. I have learned on these sights to not say anything and go on with my life. I hope she will remember me when she gets old enough to contact people herself.

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We have feelings that we can share here.  No matter what the reason, it hurts, doesn't it?

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It sure does.  I try not to let stuff bother me but deep down it does. My late husband and I have done nothing but help them and be there for them but they treat me like an acquaintance. Her family have done nothing and they are the greatest people ever.

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It hurts alot to lose someone you love

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Oh, I so sorry for your pain Kalana, Critter 21, homeyfunk.  I know it hurts to lose out on the relationship.  My youngest daughter always talked to me a lot before she moved out of our house. I don't get to have deep conversations with her as much as I used to.  I really miss this.  I know you all must really have a deep desire to have a better relationship with your family member that is pulling away. 

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Thank you all for your kind words.

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If it helps your son and you at all, I was the daughter. My parents were divorced and the custody agreement allowed my sister and I final say in who we were with, so I had the option of telling my DM or DF where I wanted to spend vacations/holidays. There were times I stayed in my Mom's town instead of going to Dad's because of a Christmas dance or soccer summer training, but that didn't mean that I didn't love my Dad or loved my Mom more. I think it meant that my parents did a great job of supporting me and shielding me from their issues so I could go ahead and live my life without their divorce hindering me. So kudos to your son and ex DIL.

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That age is hard - hard for grandparents because it is a natural time of separation and pulling away, of activities and <less> time anyway - a time of growing up. It's hard for parents because it's really when - I think - we start to allow our kids some real autonomy and decision making room. And it's hard on kids because just when they start getting a little more freedom - it's also when they start getting more responsibility and more demands. 

 

Kalana- I know this won't make it any easier for you or other grandparents that are hurting - but I hope this helps some. My girls are 12 and 14. My parents and FIL (MIL is deceased) live locally to us. We have good relationships with both. All are retired. My parents travel about 6-7 months of the year. To give you some background and level set. My girls aren't overscheduled. They participate in school based extracurriculars and our church youth group and church based activities. They hang out with their friends. They have home chores. They come from an intact family so only have obligations to one household. DH and I come from intact families and I have one living grandparent remaining - so they have "obligations" to 3 sets of GPs and GGPs respectively. Even still - with all of that - they are more likely to see them - on Christmas and during the summer - and spring break. It's when THEY(my girls) have more free time. There are a few days through out the year that they may see their grandparents and yes they may have dinner with FIL here and there a few more times than you see your grands - but the realities for children that age is that even when you have them right there with you - you are probably less likely to see them often. 

 

So WHAT can you do? What can you do to keep that relationship relevant and healthy? Well, I can only answer for what my mother does to keep in touch with my girls and see if that helps. She's the one they are closest to - because she makes the biggest effort. Does your GC have a Facebook page or is this an option? Both of my girls have FB pages and my mom keeps up with them there. She sends them messages on their walls, sends private messages etc. They play games on FB together. I know a lot of people aren't big fans of kids this age having cell phones or electronics - but my girls have their own cell phones (we have no land lines) and my mother texts them all the time. Before they had their own phones they had texting apps on their iPods and they kept in touch that way. She Facetime chats with them. (Also handy when they visit HER and *I* can talk to them that way) They also have Skype on their laptops and can talk to her that way.. eMail.Twitter.

 

Then there are the less technological ways. Good, old fashioned greeting cards, snail mail letters, Care packages.

 

Seeing them face to face is preferable certainly. But you can maintain that relationship throughout the year by those other means and make the very best of the face to face time you have. I know it breaks your heart that time is limited. Just as it breaks your son's heart that his time is limited. It's bittersweet at best when they get to this stage and you realize that all of your hard work is all really going towards pushing them away from you to some extent.

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So sorry, Kalana, homey and critter! I doubt that anything will ever quite fill that void. I hope it helps, though, to see that this is not uncommon. And that it happens, no matter how far away the child lives or what the state of the parents' marriage is. Cobalt, I feel for you, also - I don't get to talk to my ODD as much as I used to, either, or in as much depth. I miss it, too. :( But life changes things. I'm sure some of our parents and GPs would have said the same

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For me it's not a big void.  I understand kids grow up and away from their grandparents.  Besides, while I adore my granddaughter and love to spend time with her, since I seldom see her, I'm not as attached as I might me if I saw her more.  My sadness is for my son.  He's doing ok, but we both have that "RATS!  I wish this was different!" feeling.

 

There's a longgg story behind all of this, but it's not something I can share here.  It's just nice to read supportive words from all of you.  Thank you.

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