My Grandpa and explaining DNA history to the kids

by beagooddad on May 3, 2007

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My Grandpa is going to be having a little heart procedure done next week. Something to help open a clogged valve if I got the story correct. No heart surgery is little, but in the scheme of things it will be relatively non-invasive and he should be home and recovering very quickly. We’re praying for you Grandpa.

There’s a little bit of an interesting story about my relationship with my Grandpa. By relationship, I mean the blood kind. When I was 18, my dad and I fought a fair amount. We have very different personalities and don’t argue with each other very well so there ended up being a ton of days where we would barely talk to each other. I blame it on the teenage hormones.

One day, my mom decided to tell me a big family secret. My grandpa wasn’t really my biological grandpa. Apparently my Grandma had a previous marriage. She had the first three kids with that guy. He turned out to be a real ass and she ended up leaving him when the kids were young…just starting grade school if I have the facts right.

Then she ended up with my Grandpa who helped raise the first three as well as three more that they had together.

Very fascinating stuff. I still never figured out why or how it ended up being a secret. It didn’t change how I felt about my Grandpa. He was still the guy who kept the house too cold, didn’t like people drinking at the table, took pictures any time more than two family members were in the same room, and always seemed to enjoy getting hugged even if we wasn’t really comfortable having it happen.

I didn’t love him one ounce less when I heard the news. I ended up respecting him a whole lot more, though. Anybody who would raise kids from a previous marriage and treat those kids like his own deserves a lot of respect in my mind.

Thinking about stuff like that always reminds me that we are someday going to have to explain to the kids that I am not their DNA-dad. We knew from day one that we were not going to keep it a secret, but I’m still not sure exactly when we will tell them. It’s one of those weird things where it wouldn’t make sense to them now since they don’t really know how babies are made, but by the time they are old enough to understand it might end up being an awkward conversation.

Any advice?

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