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[The Ordinary Moments] Having Grandparents..



My Mum's Mum left her when she was younger and her Dad passed away whilst I was a baby. My own 'father' left when I was just three months old.. supposedly he didn't like children very much! So I didn't get a chance to get to know his parents. I met his Mum a few times and she seemed like a lovely lady but that's pretty much as far as it went before she passed away. My Husband Adam on the other hand, grew up with his grandparents regularly in his life and our little Ethan and soon-to-be second child will to much absolute delight grow up the same way, as him. 

I can't really explain in words how it feels to watch even just Adam and Ethan together - to see Ethan playing with his Daddy and learning how to do new things with him brings me emotions that are sort of indescribable. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have a Dad myself when I was younger. I have a Step-Dad, who has been in my life since I was nine years old and who has been there for me ever since then, but natural curiosity sometimes makes me wonder what life would have been like if I was that child who's parents did stay together. To be totally honest, as soon as I start to think about it, I stop myself and shake it off. In all honesty I wouldn't want to change the past. I'm happy with the person I am and where I am am in my life. I'm a believer of things happening for a reason. But even still.. watching my Son with his Dad often makes me well up. Adam's an amazing Dad and Ethan's more lucky than he'll ever know.

I feel the same way about seeing Ethan with his Grandparents, he spends so much time particularly with Adams parents - Ethan's Grandma and Grandpop. He's formed a bond with them and their home has become his second home - somewhere other than our own home where he feels safe and happy. He spends Thursday evenings there and stays over night at their house every week. He knows that there's a slightly different routine there and he embraces it. He goes to the local park, on lunch dates and on days out with his Grandma on a Friday during the day whilst Adam and I work. Sometimes they stay home together, they'll sit and watch cartoons, eat lunch and Ethan will play with his Aunties old pink toy camper van. He has a special time there no matter what he does, he gets to be in a different environment, learning from different people -  all whilst strengthening his bond with his family. 

A couple of weeks ago, on a Thursday, after what was an amazing week and half together as a family for Ethans birthday, I packed Ethans bag up with all of the things he'd need for the two nights (instead of the usual one) that he was staying away. I put far too many clothes in the bag as the weather's been so unpredictable lately. I made sure it was all folded. I checked that his favourite teddy 'doggy' was in there and then I checked again. I added two bananas, one for each night to be blended in with his milk, just like he likes it. I made sure he had a dummy and that his new slippers were inside the bag too. I gave him a hundred cuddles and then a hundred more and more kisses than he's had in his entire two years of life in less than one minute. I waved him off goodbye, blowing yet more kisses as his Daddy reversed the car down the driveway - and I watched as Ethan put his hand to his mouth as if to blow me some kisses back. I watched them get to the end of the street and turn the corner.. and then I cried.. And I thought about how for me, it doesn't get any easier to let him go each week. To watch him need me less and less. I thought about just how much I want to cling on to him and be with him all of the time and then I cried a bit more. But then after a few minutes.. it suddenly occurred to me that what I was feeling, as natural as it is to feel as a Mum, was just a feeling smothered in my own emotion and my own personal desires. 

It occurred to me that by letting him go, he gets to build up that special and precious bond he has with his grandparents. He gets to have that second home where he feels comfortable. He gets to learn new ways of doing things from new and different people. He even gets to go and see his Great-Grandad and do things differently then how we do things at home. He learns how to be confident without his Mum and Dad there. He learns who his family are and gets to feel how loved he is. He learns that, in life you can't always be with one person doing the same thing every single day, no matter how much you think that's all you want.. (which is something that I'm still learning myself). I know that if something ever happened to Adam and I - as much as it would never be okay, he'd have his grandparents and his second home. He'd be looked after and guided in the right direction. 

I know deep down, once the emotion and the initial shock of letting my baby go for the night or few nights passes, just how good it is for Ethan to go and spend time with his Grandparents. I know how lucky he is. I know how happy they make him and he makes them. I now how nice it makes me feel when I watch them together, it's that same feeling that I get when I watch my little boy with his Daddy. I'm so thankful that Ethan has both sets of Grandparents in his life - I'm thankful that they go out of their way to see him and to be there for him. My little boy gets to have grandparents and as emotional as it may sound.. I'm eternally grateful to them for being in his life. He's such a lucky little boy. 

With his Grandad - my Step-Dad. 

With his crazy Nana E - My Mum. 

Helping his Grandpop (Adams Dad) build his new slide.

Reading stories with Grandma (Adams Mum).

Ethan with his Great-Grandad.

It makes me so happy to see Ethan bond with his Great-Grandad (Adams Grandad).


 


11 comments

  1. This is so lovely, Alex... I grew up with grandparents I adored, but who lived in a different country to me, so I love to see how our girls get to build a relationship with grandparents who are very much part of their day to day lives. It is a wonderful relationship, and it looks like your Ethan is thriving in it! Just beautiful.x

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  2. I can totally relate to this post Alex, I feel exactly the same about my littles. It took me years before I felt at ease with the girls staying out (Yves is 4.5 and Hal is almost 3) theyve only ever had about 4 sleepovers recently. Its just something inside of you not wanting your innocent little one leave the nest, instinct wants you to be the protector, but its recently that i've learnt that its god all round for them to share their time with others, especially family members, building the bonds is something wonderful for them, and for us to see as well xx

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  3. Such a beautiful and emotional post Alex! Although my son is still very young this struck a chord as I struggle a lot with separation anxiety. I know that it something I am going to have to face in the future! And you're so right - grandparents are so amazing and Ethan is so lucky to have so much love in his life :) xx

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  4. Aww this is such a lovely post. I don't have a particularly close relationship with my dad; I'm closer to my step dad and because of that the kids don't have a close relationship with their grandpa but they have an amazing relationship with my step dad. I don't think they are missing out though on not having the relationship with my dad; he's the one missing out on them! They also have a great relationship with my Husband's step mum and they often go to her house for a sleepover. They love it and it is good for them to have the special relationship with someone else in the family. It can be hard letting them go, even though they are now 7 & 5 but that's part of being a Mum.

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  5. Oh these are such gorgeous pictures Alex and it's lovely that Ethan has such a strong bond with his grandparents and great grandparents - and has them around to bond with. I know when I see my three with their Grandma and Great Gran (both on H's side of the family) I do wonder what it would have been like had they known their Grannie at all or a little bit longer. Ethan is a very lucky little boy to be surrounded by so much love.

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  6. Such a nice post! I never got the chance to get to know my grandparents either but I love watching my children get to know theirs now. My kiddies already have such a beautiful relationship with their grandparents. They all have so much fun together, its lovely!! xxxx

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  7. Families can be a bit of a mess - my biological Dad left when I was a baby and I have had a step dad since who gave me away at my wedding. My Mum hasn't been in my life since her and my step dad split up when I was 16 and like you I sometimes wonder the what ifs but again, like you, I am so thankful and happy to be where I am and for the children to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. Ethan has such wonderful family - and you and Adam do too x

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  8. I completely get the separation anxiety, I struggle with it myself and I have ever since I was a child.
    My parents still being together though I never really thought how strange it must be to someone who grew up without a father in their life to watch a father/child relationship bloom ... you're right Ethan is very lucky to have so many family members around who love him so much. xx

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  9. This is a lovely post and Ethan looks so happy in all of the photos with his grandparents! My grandparents lived just two doors away from me when I was growing up and I have such a good relationship with them. I was sure that I wanted Lyra to have the same with hers and so far so good.

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