Once upon a time, I was a single mom. I was 19 when I had my daughter and so not ready to be a mom but I was and all things considered I think I did a good job. Was I perfect? God no. I made mistakes, I know I did. I loved my daughter though and I worked hard (with the help of my mother) to make sure she had everything she needed. When I didn’t much help anymore my daughter and I were just fine. We didn’t have a lot but always had what we needed. I was hard on her but I don’t believe unreasonably so and my daughter would probably agree. This brings a question though.
What happened? How did my beautiful inteligent daughter go down the rabbit hole? How have I become a grandmother that is raising a child instead of spoiling her, filling her with sugar and sending her home to mommy? Did I fail so epically after all? Can only one person hold the blame? My daughter is a grown adult and she is the only person responsible for her actions but did I plant something in her to make her fail? Am I being to hard or not hard enough on myself?
How much good then is raising my granddaughter? I did the best I could and it didn’t take so will the second time around be the same, or does my granddaughter stand a better chance? What part of her mother and father will be a part of her? I pray not their addictive personalities. I pray that if it is there she can deal with it better than they have. I want her to be a happy child, a happy healthy adult.
Then there is me. I know people think I should be happy and loving raising this kid. I love her, I do not love raising another child. Think what you will of me but I had one child for a reason. I did NOT want another. My granddaughter does not suffer for this. As I said, I love her. She will not suffer for her parents other than missing them. Her heartache is not something I can make go away, I can only offer comfort when she misses her mama and can’t understand why she can’t “go home”. I am not one for sugar coating but I don’t think telling a toddler that her parents are drug addicts and can’t stay out of jail is really the way to go.
What do I tell her though? She is almost 5 now (she was 2 1/2 when I took her) and is very sharp with a memory like a steel trap. I honestly don’t know how to explain drug addiction to a small child. I’m afraid that I will come across to harsh which may not be as bad as it sounds now but still. I know that my daughter loves her ver much but I don’t understand how this little girl is not enough for her to get her shit together and it won’t be too long before my granddaughter thinks the very same thing.
When I started the process of guardianship, I had both her parents sign. Sadly her father was in jail when he signed and has been in and out ever since. My daughter signed because she knows I am better than CPS and foster care. On a side note, if my daughter ever climbs back out of the hole, if she can take care of herself and keep a job etc… I will gladly let her back into her daughter’s life. I don’t see it happening though. The only light at the end of that tunnel is a train.
I had plans ya know. I have a great job and the ability to retire at 55. I was going to retire at 55 and get the hell out of California. Now, well, I’m not so sure what I will be doing when I reach 55. My granddaughter will be between 8th and 9th grades and I will have to decide if working is my only option, best option, or if I can still retire and we move. Also, I have to get permission to move her out of state so there is not more freedom to do whatever anymore. That was (is) important to me. Again, think what you will. I don’t have to like how things are. The only thing that matters is how I handle how things. They are not the same thing and I don’t think they have to be.
I also have my mother to think of. She lives with me too. She will be 76 when I am 55. What do I with her? Because of my job I know how horrible the care facilities are in my area so moving would probably be an excellent idea but what if she can’t? She’s pretty spry now and I don’t see her not being even then but 9 years is a long time for things to happen to all of us right? Fuck, this is depressing.
I’m done for now. Anyone else out there? I can’t be the only person raising/caring for multi-generations.