Grandmothers and grandsons: How to build a close relationshipDecember 19, 2017
Most of you know I have grandchildren from my first marriage. My husband, my ultimate concierge, has seven “grands” from his first marriage. We were both widowed. We blended two families. With the grandchildren, it was a delight. I decided, for a few reasons, to write about some of my husband’s grandsons because they are an important part of my life and I want to reassure grandmothers in second marriages, that relationships in a blended family can grow and flourish. Nothing in our lives happens by waving a magic wand. You have to want it. And, for the sake of your marriage and for the needs of the grandchildren, the more grandmothers are involved the merrier family life will be for all.
With open honesty, I must tell you my husband’s grandsons have earned my love and respect 10 times over. If I wished upon a star, I could not have asked for more loving and respectful grandchildren. I am their grandmother and they are my grandsons. I believe this happened because of their mother, my darling daughter-in-law Jami, encouraging the relationship. Secondly, I was the granddaughter of a step-grandmother who showered me with love. Her example boded me well. I am also close to Joe, another grandson, and the Good Boys’ cousin. My relationship with Joe developed differently than with the Good Boys and I will explain later in my story how.
The ‘Good Boys,’ as I call them, are good boys. Scott, Logan, and David are brothers and Jami’s sons. Joe is the son of my husband’s son. The boys live across the USA…David in Manhattan, Scott with his wife Katie in Austin, Texas and Logan and his wife Ann live in Bloomington, Indiana. Joe is a student at the London School of Economics and lives in London, England but is a native Californian.
A grandmother’s relationship with her grandsons
SCOTT GOOD: When Scott’s father died we became confidants. He, like his brothers, suffered. Scott shared his suffering. He would call me and we would talk for long periods of time. I listened. I understood. I tried to be helpful. On a happier note, when he wanted to go into a second business part-time, I encouraged him against his grandfather’s wishes. We bonded further. I would tell him, “Go for it. I think you have a great idea, just keep your main job.” Scott is now married to Katie. Katie is the prescription Scott needed. They are madly in love. He continues to work at has his main job and has the time to be an entrepreneur. His grandfather, my ultimate concierge, is elated by his success warning him to grow slowly, to have plenty of insurance, and to save his money. I am his cheerleader grandmother. He knows he can come to me for anything and I will be there to give my honest advice. I know he would help me if I asked. He cares. He will phone for no reason and that is the best. I love Scott.
LOGAN GOOD: He is grounded. He is a banker, an artist, and a dog lover. Logan is very charitable, totally in love with his wife, Annie, and caring and helpful to his grandfather and to me. He is as steady as they come. He is grateful, dependable, and loves family. He married into a family with 12 children and every Sunday night helps his mother-in-law cook dinner. Each year he flies out to California and spends a week with us. He always arrives with a gift. Last year it was an oil painting of Orchid that hangs in a special place where I write. He calls often and texts. He writes beautiful and thoughtful messages. Last year he made my birthday card and made my day with his handwritten thoughts. The card is displayed on my memory shelf. He showers us with love by doing and not forgetting. He always says “love you” when we say goodbye on the phone. He is a perfect jewel of a grandson. I love Logan.
DAVID GOOD: He is a digital artist and brand specialist living in the Big Apple. We talk on the phone for at least an hour at a time. I remember walking in Chicago on a cold day, my hands freezing, as I held my phone to my ear for an hour as he described his first big job opportunity after graduating college. We discussed the long drive he would have to make versus the opportunity and I helped him think out his decision. He helps me with ideas for my Instagram; we discuss art, our travels, and our careers. We laugh and chatter on and on. He makes me think and wonder. I love our talks. They have depth and we have a committed bond. I love David.
JOE GOOD: Joe Good used to be called Joey Good. About five months ago I got an email. “Honey, do you think I should go by Joey, Joe or Joseph Good.” I wrote back, “Joe.” And, Joe it is. We are close. We discuss everything, even politics, going back and forth on issues. This bond developed when his grandfather sent him to the University of Haifa in Israel for a year’s study abroad. Joe and I became pen pals over that year, writing long weekly emails to one another. We talked about everything and we bonded. He is now in London and calls almost every Sunday to check in on us, to see how we are. Joe and I can talk an hour at a time and we do. He has traveled the world and so has his fortunate and grateful Honey. I will get a call or an email, “What did you think of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? I have the opportunity to visit.” And, I will tell him about the city and tell him to go. Every city has its own wonderfulness. We talk personal about the family and I like that. I love Joe.
Well, darlings, that is a short biography of the Good Boys and my unique relationship with each of them. As I said at the beginning of my musing, I am so lucky to have them in my life.
And as their grandfather tells everyone, “When the boys have a problem, they don’t come to me, they go to Honey.” When I hear that my heart truly pounds with joy.
As a step-grandmother ( I do not like the term) you are in the driver’s seat. You have to reach out and try twice as hard as the grandchildren, you have to be honest and real, you have to earn their acceptance and you have to shower them with nurturing love. Your ultimate goal is to live, laugh and love with your “grands.”