By Elia Rocha
This past Sunday was “National Grandparent’s Day”, a holiday which commemorates the invaluable contributions and wisdom of these matriarchs and patriarchs. For the families we work with, often its grandparents who take on many of the childrearing duties, from dropping off and picking up children from care so that parents can go to work or school, to providing a place to live for these previously homeless families, to becoming temporary guardians while parents try to get on a more stable footing (usually they are struggling with addiction, incarcerated, or children have been removed from their care by the Department of Child & Family Services) to adopting their grandchildren when they have been abandoned or their parents have lost their legal rights.
There’s a lot of love on display within these families, but it’s a complicated dynamic. There can be a great deal of ambivalence here, especially when providing security and stability for grandchildren means taking over for their own children. Just how some of these grandparents navigate these relationships and manage to care for all their children is a study in grace.
Of course, it’s not just grandparents who are taking on these parental roles. We’ve seen aunts, uncles, older siblings, cousins, and event great-grandparents step in and offer the love and nurturing that all children need to thrive. It is fitting to acknowledge the indelible love and commitment they embody. Thank you.
Various members of the Children Today staff contribute to these blog posts.