If SuperMom is super-charged by the role she thinks Society has foist upon her, SuperGram is driven by guilt. Whether she was once a SuperMom herself, or not, she sees SuperMom's lifestyle and blames herself. Older people can see the big picture. SuperGram knows her daughter or daughter-in-law is headed for a nervous breakdown, a drinking problem, a divorce or any combinations of those. SuperGram can see that her son-in-law or son is leading his own life, as well, perhaps even being SuperDad. And SuperGram knows that the kid isn't getting any regular attention from the two people who should be giving it, his or her parents. Instead, the kid is a member of every tribe and team in the area, but a boarder in his or her own family.
SuperGram knows she is regulated to being a second-string player in the child's life, at best. The one time she tried to broach the subject with SuperMom, calmly, over lunch of course, SuperMom blew into a rage and fury. How dare SuperGram question SuperMom's child-rearing techniques? SuperMom was not neglectful of this child! Didn't the child have an adult present, 24/7? Didn't the child have a cell phone with GPS tracking? had SuperMom and her husband created any other children to compete with this child? Didn't the child have a standing hair appointment every two weeks? SuperGram, like her mother before her, was hopelessly out-of-date on how to successfully raise children! Really! And SuperGram had to pick up the lunch tab after that tirade, as an added insult.
SuperGram also once tried to broach the subject of sound finances, how that much debt to keep the SuperMom lifestyle going could come back to bite SuperMom in the butt, but that, too, met with strong resistance and even a little retaliation. SuperGram and Gramps were not invited to the kid's birthday party that year. They talked about just showing up, large present in hand, but if SuperMom didn't invite them, perhaps they shouldn't. So, they didn't, mailing the child several gift cards instead.
So, SuperGram gets to see her only grandchild on Christmas (or the first evening of Hanukkah), on Easter (or at the Seder), and on the child's birthday, unless otherwise called into action. SuperGram lives to be called off the bench and back into the scrimmage!
This doesn't always mean it's convenient to SuperGram. She, too, has a life of her own. She's been told that being over 50 doesn't mean she should be unproductive! The other SuperGrams retired at 50, and now lead meaningful lives of volunteer work for Society (with a capital S). SuperGram felt compelled to do the same. She also knows that now that she's raised her family, making contact with Gramps on more than a monosyllabic level is necessary. Some of the other SuperGrams divorced their husbands back when their SuperMoms started college, and took up with men younger than themselves, much younger. Cougars, those SuperGrams are called. But SuperGram has always loved Gramps, and wants to spend time with him. They like to take an evening stroll, and are planning some trips together.
But SuperMom is on the phone, calling SuperGram to action! That weekend to see the ocean will have to wait. SuperGram is needed to chauffeur the kid!
It seems there's been a little altercation with the mom who usually is so willing to take other children to the gymnastic meet/ traveling football game/ art tour meet-up. This woman has decided she can no longer take other children in her car. Seems the kid pitched a wing-ding and called the other mom names, then popped her eldest in the mouth after removing his/ her seat-belt in a moving vehicle. But he's/ she's only a child after all! Kids have a way of working these things out, and who knows what the other mom's kids did to provoke her darling. SuperMom offered to pay her, but she said no amount of money could get her to take that kid again, after the last three incidents.
So SuperGram tells Gramps the trip will have to wait, and does he want to come with her. Of course he does! And off they go at SuperMom's bidding, to become the grandchild's keeper for the weekend. If they're really lucky, maybe SuperMom will let the kid stay overnight- as long as they agree not to take him or her to church, or feed him anything of which SuperMom disapproves, or correct the child in any fashion when he or she is wrong.The reservation they made for a cute little bed 'n breakfast and the quaint lobster bistro on the shore will be canceled with the attending fees.
SuperMom has requested this type of assistance before today. It once cost the grandparents quite a pretty penny to cancel lessons on how to use a snowmobile. SuperMom never bothered to reimburse them, but after all, she is their daughter, and this is their grandchild who needs them!