In my second year of Teacher Training, I married Mr Furlong. In my forth year, we had a new “grandchild” (my fourth child) and my other children had a new set of “Grandparents”. I think they were mildly interested in their new grandchild and vaguely interested in their step grandchildren. They never baby-sat or did grandchildren duty. But they did play with them on visits – entertaining stuff like taking out their teeth and laughing lots.
But my mother “Gor” really liked Mr Furlong and was grateful to him for taking me off her hands! Also, she was gradually changing into a much more likeable person as she approached old age and possibly the self-esteem her “fame” gave her, improved her.
After my second child with Mr Furlong (I had five children all together), I had a stroke. I was expected to die. Gor, my mother, came down and ran our house while I recovered. This must have been difficult for her because she lived her own very busy life. But she did it without complaint. I am very grateful to her. She wasn’t being a grandmother – she was being a mother.
And Mr Furlong, newly married, looked after me with total devotion even though I was left partially paralysed.
So the Furlong children grew up observing devotion …. and had their own children. I have been a less than devoted grandmother, but a deeply devoted mother. That leads to being a grandmother FOR your children. That is a subtly different thing….