Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Definition of Family

The grandmother of my younger grand/daughter*, Chatty Cathy, posted a slideshow on Facebook titled "Chatty Cathy and her family".  (Well, something like that, but it used her real name.)  My first thought was, "Oh my goodness, which of my most-unflattering pictures did she share without my permission this time?"

Silly, silly me.

There were no pictures of me.  Or my husband.  Or our oldest grand/daughter.  There were just pictures of Chatty Cathy, her paternal grandmother, her biological father and her birth mother. No pictures of the people who are providing every last dime of her financial support, who nurture her and show her love every day, who comfort her when she's hurting, who help her with her homework and tuck her into bed at night.  No pictures of the woman who cleans up after her (endlessly) and provides her with healthy (and delicious, if I do say so myself) meals.  No pictures of the middle-aged man who works two jobs and juggles what's left of his hard-earned retirement funds to provide a home, clothes, food, medical care, and all the other exorbitant expenses that come with raising children.  No pictures of her big sister, who loves her as only a sister can, and who is probably her most-trusted confidant at this point in her life.  There were actually pictures that my husband and I had taken while on vacation with Chatty Cathy that had been cropped to remove all traces of us. The "family" slideshow consisted of pictures of the people who created her but only show up when they choose, and based on their lack of financial support, must assume that she forages for nuts and grains in the wild when she gets hungry, and wraps herself in fig leaves or animal skins when she gets cold.

I know I need to let it go.  I need to find a way to shed the anger and frustration.  Somehow I need to pull these raggedy old exhausted bones up and just get over it.  But today I'm too tired.  I've already done eight loads of laundry, cleaned more than a woman whose children are grown should ever have to clean, cooked a big meal, attempted to repair yet another piece of equipment in this aging house, tripped over a boatload of kids' shoes that should be in the cubbies that take up way too much of the hallway that leads to the laundry room, and fought (to no avail) to get the girls to do chores.  And I've been cursed out by a teenage malcontent.

Sounds like family life to me.

*Grand/daughter:  A biological granddaughter who is being raised by her grandparents as if she was their own daughter.


  1. My goodness, Vanessa. The saga of the disrespectful teen continues. You are not alone. Not only does God see all the care and love you show those girls, but there are also women like me who emphathize with you. My one and only son just texted me to say, "quit acting like you want us included in your activities, etc." This came in answer to my invitation that we all go apple picking. He used to love that outing as a child. His own little son is now 5 and I know he would enjoy it. So no apple picking with my son's family and they will not be coming for Thanksgiving. I know the hurt you feel. I am right there, too. All we can do is keep loving these kids and pray for them.

    1. I'm so sorry your son is treating you this way. Because we love our children so much they have a way of hurting us like no one else can. I hope things turn around for you soon. You are in my prayers!