Thursday, June 20, 2013

Grandchildren as a Reward?

If you know me at all, you know context matters. I hate things that are taken out of context. I will spend my own time making sure I fully understand a situation in history, for example, which many times means understanding the time period, culture and economic conditions surrounding said situation.

Context matters.

Well, most of the time. Not today though. Last week I heard the following words come out of a professional speaker's mouth: "Grandchildren are our reward for not killing our children." I did manage to listen to whatever else he said that evening. But those words have really stuck.

Taken on the surface for a regular parent, that can be seen as a joke. The weeks are long but the years are short is one of my favorite sayings as a mommy. Some days just seem like they will never end and some phases just drag on and on. But then one morning I wake up and the babytalk is gone or the phase is over and I feel as though I've missed it.

My littlest one is such a handful that I used to tell her that she's lucky she's cute. Everyday thoughts like that are so normal in the parenting world. Sure, in the beginning we may think, "I would never say that about my child," but mix sleepless nights with cranky children and you get... well, parenthood.

Now take those words in a birthmom's context. Whole different deal. We didn't choose abortion, therefore we allowed our children to live. Due to that choice, we have experienced many rewards and one of those is, yes, grandchildren.

But hold on there... not so fast. While many would agree that grandchildren are a blessing, a birthmom's perspective is a bit different. Let's say a woman gives life and a new family to her child, watches that child grow up from afar and then watches that same child get married and have her own babies.

Now that birthmom has whatever relationship she has with her birthchild and now has a whole new relationship to negotiate.

My one friend is about to become a birthgrandparent for the first time. She is invited to the shower. She has a place in that family.

I, on the other hand, found out about my birthgrandchild six months after he was born from an announcement. I was not included in the pre-celebration ceremonies nor have I met him in his two short years.

Yes, grandchildren are a reward for not killing our children. But for birthmoms that's just the tip of the iceberg.

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