A Lot of Branches on That Family Tree

My girls and their grandpa

Here are my girls with their cousin and Grandpa Gale.

I’m a child of divorce. If the math is correct, half of you are thinking in your head, “Me, too.” We all deal with it in a different way — some excel, some take the passive approach, and others use laughter as a defensive mechanism. By adulthood we all should’ve come to some grips with it (some better than others). But why do I bring this up now as a husband in a happy marriage? Because I recently realized my daughters have seven grandmas and four grandpas!

I know seven sounds like a lot, but when parents remarry, you add siblings’ in-laws, and the fact that people are living longer, the traditional set of grandparents on each side of the family goes out the window. It’s hard to keep things straight at the dinner table … which grandma is spending some time in Florida … which grandpa is retiring? Heck, I get confused and I’m telling the story! Just imagine how hard the wheels have to spin for a 6- and 3-year-old to keep everything straight!

We’ve turned to giving each grandparent a different moniker—Poppie, Grammie, Grandpa Van, etc.—to keep the stories moving. And everyone has come to embrace their new “name.” Why wouldn’t they when it comes out of love for their precious little grandchild?

I guess the moral of the story is every parent has to learn how to adapt and make the best for their children. It’s their normal. All they know is they just have more family to love them. So if there is still ill will or hurt feelings from the divorce, let it go so our children can grow into healthy, caring adults.

– Jim Pesta, Parenting Program participant and father of two girls

1 Response to “A Lot of Branches on That Family Tree”


  1. 1 Anonymous July 1, 2014 at 9:23 am

    “More family to love them.” Nice way to reframe a sometimes complicated situation. Thanks, Jim!


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