29 Sep

I spoke recently about Grandad’s and how Nat’s Grandad, Katie’s Grandad and Megan’s Grandad all helped their kids and their grandkids just through being there and accepting. Grandads bring calm and perspective.

What about Grandmas?

Its no exaggeration to say that without Naomi’s mum we would’ve been sunk a long time ago. In so many ways she has helped us and therefore helped Meg. She was calm when we were stressed. She brought food when our freezer broke, she used to pick me up from work sometimes. She comes over at least two or three times a week to help Naomi educate Meg and look after Tabby. All day. Not just for an hour or so.

Whenever she goes shopping she buys presents for the girls. Just a little something so that they know she’s thinking of them and indirectly that we know she’s thinking of them too. When we went through our bad period with Megan’s school last year she was there to listen. She made sure we knew she was outraged on our behalf. She understands exactly when the right time to approach Meg is and when the right time to leave her alone is. When Meg was diagnosed she kept reminding us in silent ways that Megan was who she was. She bought her nice clothes. She bought her toys that she knew Megan would like (toys that spun mostly;o) ) and always treasured and valued her. Long before we came to terms with the fact Megan was autistic and that that wasn’t a bad thing, her Grandma had. She reminded us that having children is not a right but a privilege but she never did it in a way that made us feel bad. She led by example.

Some people never get awards, or knighthoods or recognition and these are people who usually richly deserve that very recognition. Naomi’s mum hasn’t solved world hunger or absolved the debt of developing nations or found a cure for cancer but she is a hero to us. I said once of Mike McCarron’s relationship with Katie and now Meg that everyone should have such a Grandad. I’d extend that to Naomi’s mum – everyone should have such a Grandma. We love her very much.

5 Responses to “Grandmas”

  1. Gabesmom September 29, 2006 at 16:25 #

    I think one of the reasons that I was able to come to a place of acceptance about Gabriel’s autism so quickly was because of the support that we received from both my parents and my in-laws. They have been nothing but positive and helpful and have been a tremendous help both emotionally and financially. We moved a few months ago and now live next door to my parents. Both of my children are thriving as a result of having so much love around them.

  2. Ruth September 29, 2006 at 16:43 #

    My children loved grandma’s stories of naughty things their mommy or their uncle did when they were little. An occasional “You did the same thing when you were three” helps put things in perspective when you are a frazzled parent.

  3. mike stanton September 29, 2006 at 19:32 #

    It is always good to read about supportive families. One of the biggest moans I get from online discussion groups is about close relatives who refuse to accept the diagnosis and the isolation this causes to families at a time when they need the most support. It gets even worse if one parent (usually dad) is in denial and the grandparents take his part. So all praise to supportive relatives.

  4. Soapbox mom September 30, 2006 at 01:27 #

    One of the biggest moans I get from online discussion groups is about close relatives who refuse to accept the diagnosis and the isolation this causes to families at a time when they need the most support.
    How true.
    Your mother in law must be an angel. How lucky you are! My son’s grandparents are also quite supportive and as involved as they can be. I think it makes a difference in our perceptions and abilities to deal with and ultimately accept things, having a strong network of support. Great post!

  5. bonni October 1, 2006 at 17:37 #

    Zoe’s Nanna is wonderful with her. She’s very good at encouraging Zoe to try new things, go new places, and at offering praise lavishly.

    The only thing is that Nanna doesn’t like the word “austism” and “autistic”. She’ll tell people (only when and if it seems at all valid to mention it at all) that Zoe is “mildly autistic”, but really, Nanna doesn’t think that at all and sometimes says so. She says it’s something else, some other condition. Apraxia, perhaps, but not Austism.

    As far as Nanna’s concerned, Zoe’s just got a few developmental issues (particularly the speech/communication), but other than that, she’s perfect (but not autistic). It’s a funny, affectionate, encouraging kind of mild denial, or maybe it’s just that Nanna sees beyond the eccentricities and uncomfortable issues and observes the beautiful little girl and not the issues…

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