My husband has a complicated past. He became a father at the age of 16, and then again shortly after that. Willie and Christian were adopted and raised by their maternal grandparents. I'm not exactly sure on all the details and frankly at this point it doesn't really even matter to me. His past is his past. When we first got married and for the majority of our marriage that was a part of his life that he didn't necessarily want me to be involved in. I respected that as best as I could, after all, it was just his past.
William wasn't what you'd call a "family" man when we met. His family. . . . (honestly you never know who might be reading this stuff). . . . so I'll just say they're completely the opposite of my family and the way I was raised. COMPLETELY. We came from different world's. For me, the most important thing in life is your family. (Whoever they are, whatever makes up YOUR family). I learn that more and more each day. Now, after 5 1/2 years of marriage, I can honestly say that my husband feels the same way. I have seen him grow and become such a family man.
In the last year or so William has made an honest effort to re-connect and build relationships with his oldest sons. Willie, the older of the two, was married earlier this year. I believe Willie and his wife, Sara, were together for a several years before they actually got married. Sara is a little older than Willie and has 3 children from a previous relationship. So in a round about sort of way, that brings me to the reason for my post. Buffee being a Grandma!
At first William still didn't want me to be apart of his "old" life. Then two months ago Sara suddenly and tragically lost her mother and the kids lost their grandmother. They were all extremely close to her. So needless to say, they were all devastated. William, stepped right up, and has really been a rock for that family, especially our grandkids. But I didn't meet them until two weeks ago.
William, I think, was trying to protect both me and the children. He wasn't sure how the children would receive me. He didn't want anyone to think I was trying to replace the grandma they just lost. And incase anything happened, he didn't want to see me suffer another heartbreak. (Plus, he says that every living thing, even our fish, always love me the most. Which is true.). He wanted to make sure that the children had a chance to bond with him first. (Guess he should have taken into consideration that once he finally introduced "grandma" I'd be like the bright shiny new toy)! Ha! Anyway, I didn't necessarily agree with him, but he swears he had my best interest at heart. And again, it's now past tense and we're moving forward.
Seeing William as "Grampy" just melts my heart. It's truly just how I pictured he'd be as "daddy"! He loves and adores Christian (7 yrs old), Bethany (6 yrs old), and Gracie (4 yrs old). And they think the world of him too. The first day I met them, we went to Christian and Bethany's practice. Christian plays football and Bethany is a cheerleader! They were all very shy and reserved. Especially Bethany. William introduced me as "Grammy" (that's what HE wanted them to call me). I told them I was Buffee and I explained that I was married to Grampy, which made me another grandma to them. I also told them it was their decision what they wanted to call me, Buffee, Grammy, Grandma, anything (but ugly)! They all 3 decided to call me Buffee. *sigh of relief*
You see, Buffee, Buffee I can do. Buffee is what I'm good at. "My kids" aka nieces and nephews, they all call me Buffee, none of that "Aunt" business. It's too formal for me. And Grandma, grandma is scary to me, grandma is my mother and her mother. Moms become grandmas, OLD moms become grandmas. I'm only 33 years old! I've never even been called "mom" before (even Justin calls me Buffee). So how could I be called "grandma"?
On Saturday, we were in the grandkid's neighborhood, so we decided to stop by and say hi. An original 20 minute hello turned into an all afternoon/night event! They were having a BBQ and we were invited to stay. Within a few minutes of being there, Gracie, the youngest one was calling me "grandma." It was a good 5 minutes or so before I realized she was talking to ME! Um, oh, yeah, you mean me Gracie? She looked at me and was like, um, yeah, you're my grandma aren't you? (Honestly I think she just forgot my name, but remembered the grandma talk). Either way, from that moment on, I became Grandma. To her and Bethany. (Christian still calls me Buffee, and I'm just fine with that). I think Bethany wanted to call me grandma all along, but needed the go ahead. Grandma. Not even Grandma Buffee. Just Grandma. It was so foreign to hear. But it didn't take me long to get used to it, because I literally heard my new name being called every few seconds! Grandma, look at me, Grandma, watch this, Grandma, come over here, Grandma, sit by me, Grandma, follow me, Grandma. . . . I love you! Oh, whoa, WOW, talk about tugging at ones heart strings! I melted into a puddle of grandma loving mess right then and there!
Grandma, I love you! I knew in that moment, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. In that last few years my faith has really been tried. Beyond belief. I no longer believed that everything happens for a reason. I just believed that life happens. That not everything can be explained or has a purpose. But I know for a fact that The Lord has placed these kids in my life, and me in theirs, for a reason. I know that I'm there to be a grandma to them. Not to take the place of their grandma that passed away. But to be there and help them through this difficult time. To be someone to play with and have fun with. To help lessen the pain of the loss of the other grandma they loved so dearly. There are no "steps" involved in this blended family of ours. I'm their Grandma and they're my grandchildren. Period. Family are the people that love and take care of you. I hope that I can build a great friendship with their parents, my son-in-law and daughter-in-law as well.
So now, not only am I the world's greatest aunt, I'm also working on being the world's greatest grandma! I've always had a way with children. They love me and I love them. And I couldn't be more thrilled about being a "new" grandma! Yep, I think being a grandma and an aunt is my "calling" in life!