By Jody Valley
Longing for more
Q: I am a middle age mother with 2 children; both are gay. I have always been very supportive of them and certainly don’t want them to know that I am writing to you about this, but it’s just I don’t know where to turn. The problem is grandchildren. I want some and will never have any. I can’t help being disappointed as this was a dream that I always had, and now I know it will never happen. When my children were in there 20’s, I thought well, maybe they will adopt or my daughter might have artificial insemination. But as they get older, neither of them seem interested in children even though they are in committed relationships. Sometimes, I bring it up but they just laugh and mention that I have grand dogs.
My problem is that I feel like I am starting to resent the fact that because they are gay, I won’t have grandchildren. It just doesn’t seem fair. A part of my life will never be complete. I know nothing can be done about this, I just wanted to tell someone and get it off my chest, so maybe it won’t affect the way I treat my children or their partners.
– Never to be a Grandmother
A: I realize you didn’t ask for advice, but since you wrote to the column, here it is: First, I want to commend you on the fact that you realize this is bothering you and you don’t want it to affect your relationship with your children. Your children are lucky to have a mother who accepts them and their relationships and doesn’t want anything to come between them. But consider the fact that many heterosexual people are not having children these days. My partner and I have four adult children and so far none of them have produced grandchildren, or are even talking about it. I, too, want grandchildren, but realize there is nothing I can do about this. One suggestion I have for you is to get involved with other young families that have children. There are many young couples that would love to have a person paying attention to their child, as they may not have family close by or their families may not be interested. This is especially true for some gay and lesbian couples. There is also an organization called, Foster Grandparents, the web address is: http://www.seniorcorps.org/joining/fgp/index.html.
Foster Grandparents serve as mentors, tutors, and caregivers for at-risk children and youth with special needs through a variety of community organizations, including schools, hospitals, drug treatment facilities, correctional institutions, Head Start and day-care centers. This may be a wonderful place for you to get your needs met, while you are helping children in the community.
Taking the drink
Q: The other night my girlfriend, “Jan,” and I were out at a bar partying and having a good time with a group of friends. None of us were drunk or anything like that, we were just laughing and having fun. The bartender brought a drink over to Jan, complements of a woman across the dance floor. I told Jan not to take it, but she did and, then, she started waving and flirting across the room.
Well, I got mad and insisted that we leave right away. Jan has been mad at me ever since because she says I just don’t trust her and that she was just having a good time. I admit I was feeling jealous and angry, but I think I had a right to feel this way. Jan and I are committed to each other, and I don’t think anything like this has ever happened before. But now I wonder, if she could do this with me sitting right there, what happens when I am not with her? I know I shouldn’t dwell on this, but I just can’t stop thinking about it. How do I get my trust with Jan back so things can be like they were before?
A: I know Jan said she was just having fun, but it is not respectful of your relationship or you when she flirts with others, especially when you ask her not to. It is important that you explain to Jan how you were feeling, and why, in order for her to realize what this has done and why you are feeling distrustful. In order for both of you to gain understanding of what happened, why it happened, and how you are feeling, you may need to get some professional help. With some hard work and understanding, you can get through this.