“I’m five years old, I know Karate, and I can take the pressure.” -Brady, age 4-1/2
A therapist once told me that a child needs just one person to give them love and consistency in order to thrive; Brady has two. Because Stu and I were always present whether Jaime was there or wasn’t; the changeover for Brady when Jaime left was much less traumatic. It seemed almost natural when he transitioned into calling me, Mommy and Stu, Daddy. They were the roles he needed us in at the time.
As time went on, we felt like Brady was our child. We had to feel that way to parent him properly. We parent him like a natural parent but with the unconditional love of a grandparent. It’s not easy. We have to be the disciplinarians; when what we really want to do is read lots of books to him, keep him up late and spoil him like other grandparents we know. It’s a fine line and complicated to balance. Brady needed parents more than grandparents so Stu and I eventually abandoned the latter role. Although, he’s missing out on having grandparents, I know he feels the duality by our actions and attitude. Luckily, three of his great grandparents are still alive and even though they are on the east coast, they have shifted into the grand parenting roles. Brady knows that we’re his grandparents, but we’re Mom and Dad to him.