Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Don't Like It

"I don't like it," she said with her back to me, my arms tucked around her. Her little body was stiff as the words poured forth. My heart was breaking, but the words needed to be said…. and heard.

Room mothering was not something I enjoyed when my kids were little. I hated cooking so cookie/cupcake-making was not my forte. Most of the mothers competed to be the 'best' room mother. I voted them all best. So when it came to helping with my granddaughters class parties, I hid behind what I thought was the visitor tag. Then I found out the tag was for volunteers and my picture was plastered on the front and back. Still I did not make commitments only stating that I would help if I could make it.

My grandchildren were accustomed to a stay-at-home mom who was at every event. Divorce changes those things so this grandma tries to step up to the task. I was given the task of filling plastic cups with marshmallow creme. I guarantee that I will never again be in the vicinity of the food table when jobs are handed out. Gabby took care of me making sure I had everything I needed. I watched her interact with her friends feeling pride in the way she helped other students finish their ornaments. Yet the sparkle in the eyes of this darling girl had dimmed. Even a party could not pull forth spark that was Gabby.

Her teacher informed me that she is having a rough time with the divorce. It wasn't new news. Neither one of the girls wanted to talk about this event yet raw.

We came home after the party. Both girls were spending the night. We were in my bedroom changing into our snuggly clothes. I sat on the bed and pulled Gabby up in front of me with my arms wrapped around her, her back against me.

"Gabby, can we gave a little talk?” Her head bobbed up and down.

I asked if she was having a hard time with the divorce. Again, the head bobbed. "Would you like to talk about it?" The head bobbed and the words poured out floating in the air all covered with anger. She was angry that her parents told them of the divorce on Valentines weekend. She was angry that her mother says she will do things with her then doesn't. She was angry at them both because they can no longer play games as a family. "The kids in my class ask me why I'm making two ornaments instead of one for my parents. It’s embarrassing, Grammy. I don’t like it," she cried. And, I agreed.

The anger seemed to be emptied out for awhile. I explained that one of her best friend's parents were also divorced as were other parents of her classmates. It was news to her. We decided that we would continue to talk when needed and do the best we could to get through this thing happening to their family.

Being a room grandmom for a holiday now and then is a good thing. Not only do I become popular with the kids, but also I am there for my girls. I realize with my granddaughters what our divorce must have done to our children. I cannot set the world right for these girls or my children, but I darn well will try to ease the way....even if I need to be a room mother.

1 comment:

  1. My son went through a divorce a few years ago. It was one of the most difficult times of his life and, therefore, of mine. His daughter seemed sad for a while, although she wasn't really old enough to articulate her feelings. Lately she seems happy and well-adjusted. She has started school and is doing well. Divorce requires huge adjustments on the parts of the parties involved, but, most of the time, we do adjust.