It was late that night when the phone rang. My husband and I had been in bed just long enough to fall asleep. Waking up to the sound of a late night call always begins in a panic. The caller ID displayed my daughter’s name. She was in the middle of an ugly divorce, which was straining her relationship with her ten-year-old daughter.
As I answered the phone, I got out of bed, hoping not to wake my husband.
“Grandma?” The voice on the other end of the phone asked.
“Honey, are you ok?” Through her sobbing I could barely make out what she was trying to say. All I could catch was, “Can I come to your house?”
Of course I told her she could. She thanked me and hung up the phone. She said she would be here (two states over) tomorrow.
Before I made it back to the bedroom, her mom called to explain. There had been an awful fight earlier that evening. That was when the tears began, after hearing her dad yell at her mom. My daughter said that our sweet granddaughter had not stopped crying since then.
Because of the divorce, I wanted to strengthen my realationship with my granddaughter. I knew she loved her dad and her mom, and this was terribly hard on her. So I told her that she could call me day or night.
This was that call.
Her mom and I talked about when would be a good time for her to come. How long she would stay, and made plans. She would come the following week. Just as soon as she got home from camp.
However, things didn’t work that way.
The moment she got home, she slammed her door shut, along with all communication with her mother.
Without realizing it, my granddaughter just changed the dynamics of the situation. She started making demands on her mother. It was time to go to grandma’s house. She promised, therefore, it had to happen–now.
My daughter realized that her realationship with her daughter was more important at that moment. So she decided her daughter would stay home.
I began to pray for both, my daughter and my granddaughter. I prayed for their relationship, so that it would strengthen.
Although my heart’s desire was to be a safe-place for my granddaughter through emotional times, I’m still doing that. However, the best way to do that is to support her mom.
It’s hard. As moms we want to fix things. Especially relationships. As grandmothers, we are doubly so. It’s excruciating to watch our children suffer. Through it all, I’ve learned that the best I have to offer is support.
If you want to build a deeper relationship with your adult children, start with prayer. Seek out ways that they will learn to trust you. I know that sounds odd. But here’s the thing. They need to trust, that you will let them be adults. That you will not interfere in their decisions, especially when it comes to their children.
But then, isn’t the foundation of all relationships trust?