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Jan 7 2014

Explaining to My Son Why He’ll Never Meet His Grandparents

By at 12:52 pm

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On a recent morning before school, while zipping up his fall vest, my son Lucien announced that his father and I will make the best grandparents ever.

“When I have a son,” Lucien added, “if I have a son, I’ll let him come see you when he’s 5 or 6 years old.”

I gently explained that in most families grandparents get to know kids from day one, not when they are 5 or 6. This comes as a revelation to Lucien, because he has no grandparents.

I haven’t spoken to either of my parents, or my two brothers, since long before Lucien was born. The estrangement was my choice, the hardest–and best–decision I’ve ever made. But when I decided to cut my parents out of my life at the age of 28, after a childhood of physical and verbal abuse, and young adult years filled with dysfunction, I didn’t think about how the choice would one day shape my child’s life. I’ve protected my son from my family, but I’ve also kept him from knowing what it means to have grandparents. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 10 2013

Will Your Only Child Turn Out OK? Don’t Ask Me!

By at 1:17 pm

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The other day, I was chatting with a mom friend of mine who has a baby a little younger than my 9-month-old. (We’ll call this baby B… ya know… for “Baby.”) After a lengthy chat about which solids we’re feeding our babies (we’re still doing fruits, veggies, grains, and she’s trying baby led weaning), she gave me an apologetic look and said:

“I think we’ve decided that B is going to be an only child.”

I wasn’t sure how she wanted me to react. It’s up to everyone to decide (with their partner) how many children they would like to have. Sure, sometimes life throws a curve ball with multiples, “accidents,” or fertility issues. So, I was happy that she and her husband came to a consensus together that they wanted baby B to be an only child. But the fact that she was looking at me with almost a disappointed look on her face left me confused. Read the rest of this entry →

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