THE MIDDLE GROUND
When Baby Girl came into my life, she showed up as my granddaughter – marriage brought her to me, love kept her here.
Our story started like any other grandmother/granddaughter fairy tale – she visits, I spoil her and send her home in traditional diva ruins, and we would both feel good about ourselves.
There were a lot of underlying issues and circumstances that changed the dynamics of our relationship. The “grand” situation shifted into an open adoption. A situation that I was not fully prepared for but completely capable of handling. I had been a mother for more than forty years and a grandmother for twenty, but this was unfamiliar territory, and the adjustment was quite a challenge.
This circumstance shift created a familial and psychological shift as well. I had to regroup and take on being a mom again – not that you ever release that position, but with the responsibility of accepting the position, there had to be a change in basic assumptions. It was inevitable.
To toot my own horn, I have been an impressive mother and grandmother. However, I am now faced with being both grandmother and mother to one person and it was not an easy transition for either of us. As a grandmother, although I am tasked with passing down wisdom and traditions, I am also tasked with being a complete irritant to my children by letting many things slide. As a mother you are a bit stricter because the goal is to send them into the world as capable, compassionate, educated individuals. For me, this created the middle ground.
For her, I gave space to allow her to figure out and decide where she fit. She maneuvered roles until she felt comfortable. She has assigned mother figures – and my mother’s position varied on her current desires most of the time, which we always got a good giggle from.
Regardless of the official titles or roles, the goal was to bring her into a space of comfort, confidence, and security, which we have done. Two years later she no longer questions her position, nor mine. What she does understand is, I am in this for the long term and together we will make wonderful things happen.
The pleasure of this journey continues …