Caitlyn Jenner’s been on top of the world lately and will soon have a new reason to celebrate. Her daughter Cassandra Marino is expecting a new baby boy. This latest little one is Cassandra’s third with her husband Mark and will join his sisters Isabella and Francesca in October. Jenner is reportedly thrilled to welcome another grandchild, not in small part to some lingering regrets she may have about her relationship with her children when they were growing up.
The reality TV star and former Olympian got pretty real in a sit-down with Diane Sawyer when she admitted that when it came to parenting her three sons — Burt, Brandon and Brody — and her daughter Cassandra, there’s a lot she could have done differently. Number one on that list? She wishes she had been much more present in their lives.
In what she referred to as her children’s formative years, Jenner told Sawyer that she was struggling and that her children paid the price, admitting flat out that she “didn’t do a good job.” Something like that takes guts to say, and so does apologizing for the fallout from that decision, which Jenner says she also did. Cassandra has lent credence to that, saying the relationship she has with Jenner has been complex in the past but that they’re working on moving past that, expressing excitement for the next chapter of their lives, which will see Cassandra as a mother of three and Jenner as a grandmother again.
Parenting is a tough gig that’s hard for people who try their best under ideal circumstances, let alone people who are fighting inner battles under less than ideal ones, so while our hearts go out to the children that Jenner could have been more present for, we can respect what it takes to admit that you’ve fallen short. No one won in that situation.
You can’t go back in time, and you can’t fix what went wrong no matter how spectacular your hindsight. You can only do what Jenner has done: Acknowledge it, apologize for it, and if your children are gracious enough to let you back into their lives, do whatever you can to be better every day.
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Sometimes that’s the promise a new grandchild holds — not a do-over, but a chance to put your money where your mouth is. It’s no get-out-of-jail-free card or backup plan, of course. You get only the one chance to be a parent, and if you fail, your kids have the right to have their own regrets and the prerogative to be hurt by it.
But if they let you back in because you say you could have and would have done better, then being a loving, supportive and involved grandparent may be a start when it comes to proving you really are sorry for the way things were. Both Cassandra and Caitlyn seem to be ready to close an ugly chapter of their lives and open up a new, exciting one. We definitely wish the entire clan the best, especially the next generation!