The Grandmother I Don't Want to Be

   It took Christopher Maloney five years to work up the courage to perform on the X Factor.  Once he did, he was a nervous wreck.  Backstage was his "Nanna", who, according to him, was the only one that supported him in the endeavor.
  While watching his performance, and the subsequent bringing her out on stage to join him, I had to wonder, "Where is his mother?"  There may be a perfectly legit reason why there was no reference to her; why she seemed  nowhere to be found.  She may have had a serious illness, or possibly even died.  She may have been unable to raise him for some unknown reason.  Maybe she was in the picture but was perfectly ok with the fact that the grandmother was the one to accompany him and she was never even mentioned.  One can only guess.
    What I do know as another possibility is that "Nanna" somehow weaseled her way into his life and heart, trampling over his mother to do so, and positioning herself as somehow special - better than his mother in one way or another.  Grandmothers can do this.  Oftentimes, it is done by special attention, lavishing the child with gifts or privileges that the mother can't or won't provide, and perhaps even undermining his mother and her mothering style by negating her rules and "keeping secrets".  I've known more than one mother and daughter who are at odds for this very thing.
    My grandchildren will be coming to my house this weekend.  I hope they will enjoy all of their family - aunts and uncles, cousins, and yes, their grandparents. My desire is that as part of their childhood memories, our home will be one they fondly remember.  I expect that, somewhere along the line, they will experience something new or different with us, that can be woven into their life experiences, and that will be a blessing.
   What I never want to happen is that I would form a bond that would, in some way, supersede their mother.  I would never want to take their mother's place at a very important event unless she was unable to do so, even if my grandchild and I shared an interest that she did not share.  I would never want them to come running to me to try to escape the rules and discipline of their own home.
   Succinctly put, I just want to be their grandmother, not their mother.


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