DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I do not get to see my biological grandfather (my mother’s father) very often, and that is fine by me. He and my grandmother divorced when my mother was real little, and she was raised more by my step-grandpa, who is one of my most favorite people in the world. He is gentle and quiet, and has so much patience, even when all nine of us grandkids are around his and my grandma’s house or at other places where the family gets together.
So far I spent part of three summer vacations and one Christmas one with my biological grandfather. Every time my brother and I have been around him, he has cursed — a lot — and gets mad at us for everything we do that he does not like. He dresses like a biker (that is what my mom says), drinks a lot of beer, and smokes cigarettes and smelly cigars.
I really hate when we have to be around him, but my mom says since we are his grandkids, he has a right to get to spend some time with us too. I do not know if she even loves him very much, but she always does what she thinks is right. That is just how she was raised and how she is raising us.
My step-grandpa is such a sweetie, how could my grandmother EVER marry someone like our “real” grandfather? --- PREFER MY STEP-GRANDPA
DEAR PREFER MY STEP-GRANDPA: Your grandmother was young once, and perhaps had a very different idea of the right man for her when she met and married her first husband. Whatever the circumstances of their parting, it sounds like she found someone who made her happier in the long-run, and is a good father and grandfather.
Although you find the time you spend with your biological grandfather less than pleasant, it might just be providing you with some very important skills.
You’ll encounter all sorts of people throughout your life, and some of them, including the most difficult, will help you understand and relate better to others you meet along the way.