Thursday, January 15, 2015

Loving a child that is not your own and a trip to Fort Columbia

This is an Adventure Blog and any adventures we go on now a days are short and sweet.
Just before New Years I made good on a promise to one of the cute Granddaughters I would take her back to Fort Columbia. She wanted to go "Ghost Hunting" there. Fort Columbia is a hundred year old coastal fort that never saw any action so ghosts are probably hard to find there.

After making arrangements the cute Girlfriend and I ended up with three cute Granddaughters that sang loudly in the back seat of our truck. We got an early start to a cold day and drove out to the fort. It is across the river from Astoria OR. at the mouth of the Columbia River. It was a little tight in the truck with five people and the dog, but it was fun. Nothing ghostly happened so it really turned into a photography event, nice day for it too.

Click on the link above for info on Fort Columbia. It is one of three gun placements built to guard the entrance to the Columbia River. There are two forts on either side of the mouth of the river and Fort Columbia points right down the mouth. I'm not sure what idiot admiral or ship's captain would try to invade the Columbia River, but these forts are one of many built at many harbor entrances around America. When I say idiot to invade the Columbia I mean idiot. The mouth of the Columbia is littered with ship wrecks because it is the most dangerous river entrance in the world.

The Girls explored the gun placements and borrowed cute Girlfriend's (Grandma) new camera. They were having a lot of fun and actually got some great shots. They took some awesome black and white shots.
These are my favorites that they took.
This one is really the coolest.
 The light was pretty good for shooting black and white.
I called this one "Fly Like and Eagle"....cute granddaughter got mad at me...grin
We need to work on the shadow
I took some pictures also ....We made a pit stop to let the dog run and it was near some train tracks.
I told the cute granddaughter I got a picture of her spitting over the edge.....not that she was spitting or anything.
I took the girls out here last summer and got this pic of them.
I had more girls this time so I updated it.
We roamed around and let the girls take pictures for a while and then loaded up and headed back to Astoria and we took them into the Flavel Mansion there...that was the closest we could get to something haunted.
I took some pictures there too and got something interesting in one shot but I will share that on another blog post.
This post is really more about the adventure of modern life.

I have been wanting to write about the bonding of families in these modern times. Cute Girlfriend and I have been together more than 5 years now, and someday when we get the "I's" dotted and the "T's" crossed we will get married.
Cute Girlfriend has truthfully about a dozen grandkids.  What is a man supposed to do in instances like this, he gets together with a woman who has kids and grandkids, that is the whole package, you don't get just the woman. I know there are some people, men and women, that come into situations like this and try to just make it about them as a couple. I'm afraid it doesn't work that way.

How do you love children that are not your own. Well if you are not going to love them I think it best you move on citizen. I think is a toss up sometimes if a person can step forward and take care of someone that is not of their own blood. There maybe some hard wiring that can put up some walls to loving a child that is not your own. You hear of some horrible stuff from step parents that can't get past that little part about it not being of their own blood. There is probably some Freudian name for this but I don't know it. Like I said if you are not going to love them, and I mean love them with all your heart, you need to move on.

I know there are times and instances where there are some children that are a challenge, and moving into most situations like this you are an outsider and have almost zero control over some situations on a child's behavior. I'm telling you now that you may have to tell yourself out loud that you are going to love that child even if it is a little rat. If you can't move on!

I'm lucky that I experienced the good version of this when I was a kid. My Mother passed away when I was 5 from cancer. My dad is and engineer type and probably not the best at being a dad. He is very much in his own head most of the time and has a very different perspective on how things work in the world. He was not a bad father, I know he loved my brother and I, providing for us in his own way. He got us into sports....his sports, but he tried to be involved.

A couple of years after my mother's death he remarried. The woman that took over as mom did a pretty good job at making a nice family unit and I'm proud to call her mom today. She earned that title with honor.
Our new mom came with children of her own. They were a little older than us, some even out of the house already. My dad didn't really have to do much parenting with mom's children luckily for them. When we all moved in together my brother and I now had two sisters and an older brother. My middle sister sometimes had us dumped on her for her to watch us if my folks went out of town. That was totally not fair to her, she was trying to start a family of her own at the time and two active boys in her house for a week sucked.

She loved us though and is someways was very much a mother to us in her own right. This was a good template for me and my brother. We are still close to her to this day even though we are all living apart in different parts of the country.

When the cute girlfriend and I got together and after a while I started interacting with her grandchildren I knew that I had to earn any title of being those children's grandparent. I don't take this lightly. I didn't want to be a flash in the pan with these kids and if I was going to be part of their lives I needed to earn any title like my loving step mother earned the title Mom.

I actually like children, I love being a parent. I may not be the best parent in the world but I strive not to be the worst. There is one person in my life that was the perfect example of how to be a Grandfather and that was my birth mother's father. I try to emulate him when I can. He was quick to laugh at what his grandchildren did and watched us with a smile on his face as we explored and learned about life.

That is what it is in a nutshell for me as far as children go. Watching them grow and learn and be alive is one of my greatest joys. I love these children that now call me Papa and cute Girlfriend thinks these girls have me wrapped around their little finger.

Mixing families can be such a treacherous thing at times. Kids know by osmosis what your position is as a step parent and in some cases will use that as a lever to get what they want. Sometimes a firm hand and a loving stance may be the only thing that gets you through those situations. If you are fair and loving to them you may just win them over. Kids a lot of the time very much want you as their new parent, you need to take it to heart to be that parent. Hold them when needed. Praise them as much as possible. Be there in their lives as much as possible.

I personally may not be able to have grandchildren of my own for various reasons. My cute daughter has had complications that has made it impossible for her to have children. I have told her that adoption is a wonderful option. I have told her that the child she adopts will lovingly become my grandchild and be welcome in this family.

If I haven't made my point in these ramblings I want people out there, men and women, to take full stock of the situation they are getting themselves into. If you can't be honest with yourself and know that you can not love a child of a person that you are getting involved with, get the hell out! If you stay in and make some poor child's life miserable you may find someone like me to fix your wagon because I take offense of people like that.

Children are our future and they need to be raise to be great citizens not scared and messed up ones.

 Loving a child that is not your own is not rocket science. Getting your head around loving those children isn't rocket science either. It is a simple switch. Turn it on and decide to love that child with all your heart or leave it off and move on. I have decided I will love these grandchildren with all my heart and be there for them. There are more on the way that are in need of a Papa, and imperfect me feels up to the task.

They better like adventures too. This Papa will take them to see the world if he can!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post and I very much know how you feel. Thank you for being a great Papa not only to the girls but to all of my kids.