Today is grandpa John's birthday. I just received an email from him and it totally made me cry. It seems fitting on his birthday to mention that I am really impressed with how much he has changed in the last several years.
You know, when I had my girls, these precious little angels, I wasn't sure what to do about my step father and his role in their lives. I didn't have the best childhood with him, we had had some issues. I felt like I needed to guard myself around him to not be emotionally hurt by him and I was scared for my kids getting hurt too.
That's not the nicest thing to say, but it is honest.
I made a decision to embrace forgiveness and to keep an open mind. I wanted him to have a good relationship with my girls and I really wanted to be a positive, supportive person of my mother's marriage. Through the years I've just sort of hung back and watched to see how things would go and two things have happened, our relationship, his and mine, has improved greatly and I have also witnessed him falling in love with my children. Not that they are hard to love, but I think it has helped to soften his heart and make him see what is really important in this world, family.
Here is the email he sent me:
Your babies are so wonderful. I'm so glad I got a chance to ski with Ava. In the morning she almost cried saying, "I don't want to go to ski school, I want to ski with Grandpa". Since I had friends I was supposed to meet I made a deal that I would ski with her after school. Of course I was kind of hoping she would be too tired and just want to go home. No way, she said, "I want to ski for two more hours with Grandpa". Julie said, Ok two more runs. Ava said, I didn't say two runs, I said two hours. We stayed out about two more hours. It was grand fun. She told me all the rules about how to get on and off the run, where to ski. She really showed off!
I didn't tell you guys so you wouldn't freak out, but she got out late to get on the lift at first and the chair kind of ran her over. I pushed hard on it to cushion the blow, but I thought she would be freaked out. She bragged the whole way up, I just ducked down flat like a pancake so it would go over me. I'm not scared. She went on to explain that I had failed to inform the operator to slow the lift and that I hadn't given her enough notice so she could ski out in time. Before that little mishap, she had been bragging she knew how to get on the lift all by herself and didn't need any help. I should know better than to listen to a six year old I suppose but she was so convincing.
What a brave and skilled little skier you have!
And Norah was a ton of fun too. I'm looking forward to letting them exhaust me even more now that. Norah is found of asking me to get her things. I think she hasn't quite realized she can get her own things She would say papa go get my blanket for me. Or go get my monkey, or many things she wanted. I would say, is that your blanket right there on the floor about 4 feet away. Yep she says. I said, I think you are big enough to get it yourself aren't you? She looked at me funny and smiled and went and got it herself. What a big girl. And once I walked by her room where she was sleeping on the top bunk. She was politely yelling, come get me, come get me come get me. I came in and she said, mommy says I need a dolt to get me down cause Ava drop me and I get hurt. Smart girl.
It totally made me cry. So funny and sweet.
I am so grateful that I have a forgiving heart and an awareness that people change and grow. Without that, not only would I be stuck in the past, but I would of missed out on all the fun, happy times I've had with John and my children would of missed out on knowing what a really wonderful grandpa he is. We are truly blessed to have him in our lives!
Happy birthday John!