Ean in Red
Me in Black

“Mom, is tomorrow Easter?”
“Yes! Are you excited?”
“Yeah, um, who’s coming to our house?”
“Mandy and her family.”
“Is Papa Bear coming?
“Um…no…he’s not going to be able to make it.”
“Well Gramcy is coming, right??” (a little more hopeful)
“Well, no, you know she’s still in Indiana.”
“Oh…ok. Well is Grangy and Paw-paw coming?” (cheerfully, fully expecting a yes..)
“No, honey, they aren’t coming.”
“Oh” (very sad now) “Well what about Aunt Meme and Uncle Adrian?” (not so hopeful)
“No, sweetie, they aren’t going to be able to make it either.”
“Oh…” (clearly upset) “I guess no one wanted to spend Easter with us this year.” (As his shoulders fall and he is clearly upset.)
“Well Ean, the good news is that Aunt Mandy IS coming and Uncle Josh and all the kids! We’re going to have a great time!”
“Yeah, I know.”

My attempt to encourage him was not very well received. His sadness just broke my heart. His realization that he was not important enough to his grandparents was totally written all over his sweet little face.

Thankfully, and much to his surprise, Mary and Adrian did make it for the family Easter gathering – but it just wasn’t the same without any of the grandparents around. One grandparent, who lives in Indiana right now, couldn’t do much about it. But the other three have only ONE excuse: disconnect.

I don’t understand how one can be a grandparent and just totally ignore their grandkids. I grew up only having 1 set of grandparents and they were everything grandparents were supposed to be. I don’t know what I would have done if I had had 2 sets of grandparents that were totally involved in my life and loved me unconditionally! I had a really good relationship with them both, and I only wished I would have put more effort into the relationship before they were gone. I can honestly say that whatever was lacking in my relationship with my grandparents was MY fault – not theirs. I can also honestly say that is not going to be true for my kids. What is lacking in their relationship with their grandparents is not their fault. I can only hope that God would work in the disconnected hearts of the grandparents who are forsaking their grandchildren and that they would DESIRE to be an integral, albeit supportive, part of their grandkids lives.

You just can’t imagine what it means to a child to have the unconditional love of a Gramma and Grampa. And I know that God works all things for the good of those who He has called – so I can only trust that there are reasons, unbeknownst to me, why God would keep the children distanced from their grandparents. I am an idealist – I like to see the forest, not the trees. I like the feel good memories and like to ignore all the bad ones. I try to love people IN SPITE OF who they are. Why is it hard for me to extend this level of grace to my inlaws and my parents? Because it directly affects my children, and that makes it extremely personal.

They didn’t even call to tell the kids Happy Easter! Two of them haven’t’ even seen their grandkids since Christmas. And even at Christmas they acted like the kids were more of a burdening obligation than anything else. The other disconnected one has seen the kids since Christmas, but it was only briefly, at a family dinner, and it’s not like they spent any TIME together.

An interesting side note: I’m finding it is actually the NORM. Most of my friends kids do not have grandparents that are actively involved in their lives. Why? They are the baby boomers. They didn’t want to raise their kids (daycare and public school) and they don’t really have any interest in being around the grandkids. And they don’t even see what’s wrong with it either! And every conversation with these disconnected grandparents tends to revolve around THEM! What they found at a garage sale, what they did last weekend, where they are going on vacation, who is going with them on vacation, what they are doing to get ready for their vacation … etc. You get the point.

This is so totally opposite of what grandparenting is supposed to be!

I, personally, can’t wait to be a Gramma. I tell my kids this all the time (and not in a demeaning way either!!) I just really don’t understand my kids’ grandparents at all! Well at least not 3/4ths of them – I guess I can be thankful that my kids have at least ONE Grandparent who truly wants to invest in their lives. Thank God for that. And may God help me to learn how to show honor to the rest of them. I don’t think they have any idea how much they hurt the kids feelings by making NO attempt at spending this holiday with them. They really could have at least called during the day to tell the kids Happy Easter! It wouldn’t have killed them.