Friday, March 11, 2011

Raising children for the second time

My wife and I are raising two of our grandchildren. They have been with us a little over two years now. Parenting the second time around has been extremely difficult on us. We're not young and hip anymore...well, the hip part is debatable, but the young part isn't. We have a five year old boy, for the sake of privacy we'll call him FIVE, and a four year old girl. We'll call her FOUR. They both adore their parents and struggle to understand why they are with us, and not them. We don't understand it either. We are learning however that we aren't unique. More and more, grandparents are raising the children of their children. Our grandson started kindergarten this year and his teacher tells us that it's becoming common to have kids in class being raised by grandparents.

It's sad that so many parents are opting out, leaving their kids to be raised by others. I wish they could understand just how deeply it hurts the children. Just a couple weeks ago FIVE asked us to teach him to pray. He wanted to pray for his mom. Their mom has substance abuse issues but was six months clean when she walked away the last time. She told us she was selfish. I won't repeat what I told her.

I didn't write for a long time when we became new parents a couple years ago. I was angry and bitter. I felt sorry for my wife and I. We find ourselves not really fitting anywhere. Friends our age don't have young children. People with young children are half our age. I finally realized I had to get past the anger. We have to find a way to live our lives. We did it once. We can do it again. What it boils down to is there are two adorable kids who just want to be loved and want to feel secure. They might not have their parents but they at least have that. I once wrote that parenting was the hardest job I've ever loved. I didn't know just how true those words were until now.