The Right Kind of Person

Having spent a significant amount of time with my stepson's daughter, my 'step' granddaughter, as in granddaughter I am not biologically related to, I stand by my belief that a love, or a bond if you prefer, can develop that's as strong or stronger that those of the blood related category.

It's also my opinion, though, that it takes a certain kind of person with a certain kind of attitude or openness.

A person who loves children of all ages and thinks about how they're thinking and feeling, cares about what their individual fears and emotional needs are. Of course this is important for all who are involved in raising children, it's just that with adoption or fostering or kinship care there's an opportunity to try and ensure that those children who for whatever reason aren't being raised by their biological parents will be placed with people who are right for the responsibility. People who adopt and want to love and raise other people's children because they can't have their own should be thoroughly screened and continue to be assessed to see if they're actually doing it properly. Really the same should apply to those who volunteer to foster, those we choose to stepparent our children, and even those caring for extended family members.

Outside influences can greatly affect emotional investment, another reason why it's very important the right kind of person is replacing biological parents. The right kind of person has the ability to not only empathize and be dedicated to thinking about how a child that's in their care is feeling and responding, but also to parent without ego, something I still feel is a key factor in being the best mom or dad one can be.

I would suggest to those who are caring for the children of others, in whatever capacity that may be happening, to concentrate on the child and nurturing that relationship and to work hard to separate how those around you are behaving and not take it out on the child. This could be a spouse, a sister or brother, parent, bio parent, in-law, neighbor, co-worker, or even a stranger in a grocery store. It's not easy and sometimes we have to back away or change the way we relate to the adults in our lives but if you're that right kind of person, you'll do everything in your power to not allow others to negatively affect the child.

The right kind of person will be dedicated to parenting without ego and keep the focus on the child and his or her emotional needs.

Honestly, it will be easier to be a grandmother to my own son's children. I do look forward to it, look forward to the ease with which I'll be able to relate to my son as a parent because of the great relationship he and I enjoy. We can discuss anything openly and honestly, with respect and care for one another which is something that's very helpful to a grandparent. That said, I couldn't love my darling, non blood related, little granddaughter anymore than I do.

I'm grateful I get to be that right kind of person.


Reposting. Again.

It's Father's Day, and I want to tell you a bit about my good dad.

What I say about my dad most likely would differ from what my sister or brother would say.

Quite often one child sees a parent differently than another, with many dynamics influencing the relationship. Gender, interests, sense of humor, birth order, and temperament are all factors in parent/child relationships. Also, relationships can change over time, for example I think had my brother not died so young he and my/our dad may have grown even closer as my brother spent more time being a father.

Anyway, that said, here's what I want to say about my dad.

My dad was the perfect dad for me. I know I disappointed him sometimes but I also know he truly forgave me when I did. My dad was completely dedicated to me, to all of his kids, to our family.

I know this because we talked about it once while canoeing. At this point in life I was a grown woman and mom. The conversation started out with me admonishing him for being snarky with my mom, before she even did anything annoying, almost in anticipation. I told him it made him look bad and if he was so angry with my mom, why hadn't they just split up ages ago and put everyone out of their misery?

Well, I never expected the response I got and will never forget it.

He told me there was no way he'd have ever left us kids. That if he and my mom had split up, there's no way back then he'd have gotten custody of us. He'd made a commitment to my brother and sister and I and no matter how difficult his life was being married to my mom, he would never have left us alone with her, never have put his own needs ahead of ours. In his mind, he was one of our needs.


And that was just the biggie.

My dad also coached my softball teams and never complained about the shit bag lunches I grudgingly made him. He came out to watch me participate in everything I did, and sincerely forgave me when I messed up. My dad set an example of being hard working, honest, and kind to others. He taught me about short term pain for long term gain and about pride in integrity.

I learned from him to walk away from trouble but that there's also times when there's a need for dropping the gloves to fight for myself or what's right. Yeah, at times there was a generation gap between Dad's and my beliefs but he understood and accepted that. Another lesson learned.

My dad was the most excellent grandfather to my son. How fortunate to have had a dad who provided my son with such a positive male role model. Oh how grandpa is missed.

My dad taught my son and I about finding joy in the smallest of things, a perfect butter tart or a pair of socks wrapped up for Christmas.

I was fortunate to see my dad in two lights, the frugal, hard working husband and father and the retired, laid back, "let me by you a drink" father and grandfather.

I loved dancing with my dad. Who didn't?

As an adult in the home I have now I loved preparing him a special meal, bringing him a cup of coffee, mixing him a perfect rum and coke, not too strong. He was always so appreciative, got so much out of being here with me, my husband, and my son, his grandson, his partner.

One of my last memories of dad was of him sitting here in my living room, smile on his face, and him telling me how much he loved being in my home. I cherish that and all my other memories of my dad.

I am so lucky to have had the perfect dad for me.

Happy Father's Day to all you good dads out there. You rock.