Monday, July 30, 2012

Grandparents by Choice

Saturday night, Bunny and her Daisy Troop bridged to Brownies.  We had a potluck dinner and then watched as each girl stepped forward, said what she wanted to do most as a Brownie this year, took her old  Daisy smock off and donned the brand new Brownie sash.  Besides being a super proud Mom and Dad moment where admittedly, I got a little teary eyed, our girl had these two special women rooting her on.

Let me start out by saying, Bunny has one set of blood grandparents.  My parents.  The Hubs parents have since passed and never got to know either of The Tweedles.  My parents, as most of you know, live in Texas, which is a bit far to be around for all the day to day accomplishments of any of the kids.  We make due with phone calls and the occasional Skype to keep them up to date on what's going on in everyone's lives.  And of course, there's the trips to The Farm and their trips to visit us, which usually amounts to a few times a year.  Not nearly enough in my estimation, but life is what it is and we all do what we can to keep our family close.

But these ladies are here.  They aren't related by blood, but related by choice.  The one on the left is Nanny. The one on the right is Mimi (LW and GG's grandmother).  A long time ago, before the Tweedles were even a twinkle in their daddy's eye - I love that expression! - LW and GG used to alternate weekends with these two ladies.  Nanny and Mimi are best friends and have been for years and years, and subsequently were with the older girls since they were born.

Fast forward, one pretty contentious divorce and remarriage later, and Bunny was born.  LW and GG were still spending time with Mimi and Nanny.  I never expected that Bunny would be included in their outings. These were "The Ex's" family after all, and Bunny wasn't really related.  We all of course, attended each of the girl's events from 8th grade promotion to choir concerts at church.  We all put aside whatever issues we had to support the older girls in whatever they were doing.  This included all sitting together in one location at each event, even when things were at their most uncomfortable. And even going out together as a group afterwords to celebrate.  We did it, because it was the right thing to do.  It was easier some days than others, but in our hearts, LW and GG deserved the best from us, so we gave it to them.

But, Bunny was different.  She wasn't related.  She didn't have that blood tie that would require them to come to my baby shower, her 1st birthday or spend time with her on random weekends.  But that's exactly what happened.  Admittedly Nanny, as the one completely un-blood-related one of all us, embraced Bunny from the start.  She even offered to babysit her on Tuesdays when I had to go into the office for work after she was born.  She started spending time with just her, without LW and GG.  And I Was.In.Awe.  The generosity of spirit to love this little girl like she had loved LW and GG.  Well, it was more than I have words for.  It wasn't long before Mimi was right there with her, bringing Bunny along when they all went places together.  Then Bug came along and he was also swept up into the mix.

We aren't always one big happily-ever-after family.  We don't always agree, but what family does?  And I guess that's the deal here.  We've grown to be one weird, awkward to explain, family.  Including "The Ex", her new husband and their little girl, Sister #3, who if you recall, had both of The Tweedles in tears when she went back home to her mom's in Tennessee.  At the end of the day, all 5 of the kids (LW, GG, Bug, Bunny and Sister #3) bind us in a way we will never escape from, and they deserve the best from us.  The little ones especially don't care about who was married to whom before, or what drama ended that relationship.  They don't care if we all agree or don't.  They don't care about who's fault it was, or who did what to whom back before they were born.  They just love each other, and all of us.  And want us all to get along.  And so we do, because what else can we do?

And those two women?  The ones who took my Tweedles into their hearts and have loved them, and cared for them like they were family?  We just tell people they're The Tweedles grandmothers.  Easier to explain, and ultimately the only truth Bug and Bunny know.  We are blessed to have grandparents by choice.  And after all, not only does it take a village, but Bug and Bunny deserve all the loving adults in their lives they can get.  Their hearts are big; there's room enough for everyone.

Seriously.. Thoughts?


  1. Thank you. I am overwhelmed and have tears. All of the Littles and Bigs are my grandkids, but don't forget you and Hubs are like my kids too.