YaYa (3-11-16)

PictureA recurring theme in our blog is family is what you make it. I want to share about an amazing person in our family that we call YaYa. YaYa is the name for our #5’s paternal grandmother. (My ex-husband-in-law’s mom, AKA my wife’s-ex-mother-in-law???) She lives nearby and he gets to see her lots. We love that this hasn’t changed from the first year of his life and he can’t get enough of seeing her and being with her.
It was important to my wife that her son not lose any connection with his dad’s side of the family. She worked hard in the beginning of our relationship (and her divorce) to keep the lines of communication with them open. She also loves his family and counts them as her own. YaYa has been such a blessing to all of us!
Of all the people in our “previous” and present lives, she could have easily cut ties with my wife, never interact with me, and been justified in many eyes to be “right” in doing so. Perhaps the most justified of anyone. But she didn’t. She is one of the people in our lives that has shown grace, acceptance, and love. We all choose how we want to live and interact with those around us. She could have chosen justification, scorn, rejection, and hurt. But she chose love. She chose relationships. She welcomes us to her home with open arms. She stops by our house, eats dinner with us on occasion. She spent Christmas morning at our house for our family gift opening. She went Christmas tree hunting with us. She hugs me, the person she could hate, every time she sees me. We talk. We laugh. We share. She talks to all of our kids.
Our littlest loves going out to her ranch on days when we are gone or working. But here is where she gets even more amazing: Lately our 4 year old, #4, begs to go see her too. (Remember, they aren’t related). She’s so good at getting down on the floor with both little boys and just playing. He quickly warmed up to her, which is unique because he’s super shy to most people. A while back we told #5 that he was going to get to spend the night with YaYa. He got super excited. Then #4 heard and started jumping around. “We get to go see YaYa!” He ran to get his suitcase. I told him that I thought just his little brother was going to get to go, but he refused to believe me. I gently tried to talk him out of thinking he was going too. I asked him where he would sleep if he went. Matter-of-factly he answered, “Well, she does have 2 pillows on her bed!” When she arrived to get #5, before I could even broach the subject, she asked if I wanted her to take both boys. The 4 year old was beside himself. The next week rolled around and she was going to watch the 2 year old again. Once again #4 excitedly got ready. We called her to talk about it honestly. I would never want her to feel like she was being forced or expected to take him. She certainly has no obligation! She said that she was always happy to take him and enjoyed him a lot. She added, “And I could never say no to him when he looks up at me with those eyes of his!”
We’ve been so blessed to not only have not lost a connection with her, but especially for our second youngest, have gained another grandparent to love him (as well as the rest of them) up! She’s a rare treasure for sure.

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