The door closes. The parents are gone for the evening or off to work. The children come out to play.
My relationship with my grandchildren has been greatly changed since they live in the same house with me. I'm sure that those of you raising grandchildren have seen that change in a big way. I miss the 'special time' of having the girls visit. I miss having my house as a second home to the girls. I miss having my space as well, but that's another story.
Every day I pick up the girls after school. Snack. Homework. Finally it is time for us to relax and settle in. The silliness seems to settle in as well.
"Grammy, tickle my feet."
"Grammy, can we play a game?"
Grammy. Grammy. Grammy.
When mom is home, the kids are more reserved towards me. They want time with their mom who works. They want her to know she is the most important adult in the house. They do their best to follow her lead. I interact, but the feel in the house has changed. How I miss my own home.
"Grammy!" Sydney yells as she dives onto my bed. I'm tucked in reading. This is a surprise visit since she has been in her Mom's room watching TV. It feels like old times.
The girls are trying to find their place in this living arrangement. I try very hard not to have hurt feelings or to feel slighted, yet I feel outside of this family unit. I savor the glimpses of the relationship I had with the girls before the move in. I savor the time now when we revert to doing all the silly things we did before.
Grandparents, you are not alone. We all work at finding our niche in the lives of our grandchildren. We all cherish the goofy times when the 'children' play. We long to have recognition in the eyes of our children as well as our grandchildren. We work hard trying not to invade but to enhance the family dynamics. Grandparenting is not always easy. Feeling get hurt. We often hold back comments that we know will really do no good. We are the 'parents' when the parents are not around. We try to find our place when they come home and are often misplaced.
But I really love the times when we dance across the floor, play school, paint, make a mess with crafts, cook together, snuggle over a book or movie and get poked by small feet when the girls sleep over. This is not a sleepover living together. It is a responsibility to give the children the best home possible.
I love when my granddaughters come out to play.