You’re right. It’s irresponsible not to be a part of your child’s life. And it’s sad; but I think my son and I have similar feelings about what we can offer my grandson. If his mother’s family didn’t portray themselves as doing so well without us, it wouldn’t feel like such a slight or slap in the face. It’s like, “I don’t need your money. I don’t need your gifts. Just spend the time…” And when you’re there with them, it’s like, “See? He’s doing fine without y’all. And will be. So don’t you forget it!”
And no, I don’t think they’re mean, or evil or vindictive people. They really can make it without our input or money or influence, etc. In fact, I know the voice so well ’cause it was mine to my children’s father once. But I also know the one who will truly be hurt the most by all of this is that precious little boy. He will grow up with all of their unrestrained love, attention and affection; and unless a change occurs, we will miss the school recitals, sports, dances, graduations, and vacation pictures, etc. that happen in his life while he misses our presence.
So yes, it bothers me that my son grew up feeling a similar sense of rejection from his own father, and instead of embracing the opposite of that spectrum, is following a familiar path. And it bothers me that I can identify with such an insecurity – the thought of not being significant enough to be a relevant part of my grandson’s life – because that negates the authenticity I live and breathe. I KNOW I’m enough. And relevantly significant. I know my contribution to his life is a missed opportunity – a chasm growing daily; and although I would change what has happened if I could, I do not have that power. I can only move forward. I pray whatever role my son is able to play in his son’s life is exponentially beneficial to all, those directly and indirectly related; and that he and I have a remarkable and powerful relationship, so strong it overcomes all of the missing moments of our forgettable past.