Thursday, July 1, 2010

They say genes skip generations. Maybe that's why grandparents find their grandchildren so likeable. ~ Joan McIntosh

I hope none of you out there who read my blog are under the false impression that I'm the perfect grandmother. I'm not. I'm definitely human. I have my days where I'm totally burned out. Where I wish I was doing anything but what I'm doing. Wishing for adult conversation. For an hour of peace and quiet.

And then along comes a day like yesterday.

I have noticed recently another grandmother strolling past with a newborn grandchild on a daily basis but I've never been outside when she's walked by. Yesterday morning the grandboys and I were out in the front yard tossing out bread crumbs to the birds when she came by and we struck up a conversation. She's visiting out here from Port Huron, Michigan, where she's a middle school teacher. She's taking care of her new grandson until the first of August when she has to return to her 'real world'. And already she's worrying about the fate of her little grandson, as is her son and daughter-in-law, concerned about handing him over to complete strangers for day care. They've found a Baptist church nearby that provides day care and that's where the little guy will be headed once Grandma goes home. But they're still wondering...praying...that this will be the right decision, that he'll be well taken care of and safe there. It is in moments like that one when I want to speak up and say, "I'll do it! He'll be safe and well-loved with me!" but I know that's pure craziness on my part. As much as I'd love to do it, it's beyond me now. 30 years ago, no problem. But at 56...sadly, no.

And even on the days where I tell my grandsons, "Grandma is tired and grumpy! Can you please quiet down?!" or when I'm finally sitting down for 5 seconds and Dylan comes along with a hand outstretched and says, "Grandma, come see the baby kitties!" outside the windows when I don't know if I can get up one. more. time. Even with all my weaknesses. Human-ness. I am still Grandma. And they know they're adored. They know I'm here for them. That I can kiss away boo-boos, wipe away tears. Dole out hugs by the truckload. Watch "Thomas the Train" DVDs for the thousandth time and still oooooh and ahhhhhhh at the right moments. Play pirate ship and race cars with the best of them. Dance around the living room. Wrestle on the floor. Pitch whiffle balls in the back yard. They have the luxury of being safe and secure without even realizing there are places out there where they could be staying that aren't.

It is my gift to them. Free of charge. These years are hard work. But time is fleeting. So fleeting. And tomorrow they will start school. And the next day they'll be graduating. And I will have the satisfaction of knowing I had a part in it all. That for these few years, they've been mine.


Judy said...

I hear you, Kris. I hear you.

2 Moms of a Feather...Stick Together said...

Yes Kris....
I have babysat my Grandkids while my daughter worked...she is now a stay at home for now I will have a break. It is tiring, but rewarding.
I will pray for you for strength as you love them.
Take care,
Mommy 1
aka Nancy

LC said...

So true. And if a time comes when you are no longer able to dance around the room or wrestle on the floor, that never-ending deluge of love you are lavishing will continue through looks, laughter, teasing and conversation I know, because I see it with my 91-year-old mother interacting with my children and grandchildren. Wrestling on the floor and taking time to look at kitties at the moment a grandchild wants to share his joy with you keeps that connection strong into the future! God bless!

Anita said...

It is all so true, time flies and kids are grown. I had that same feeling when my were still small and I had the ability to stop working and stay home. Now nearly 10 years later, we may not have all the money we'd like, but my kids have enjoyed my being there for them.
You are very blessed!

Mountain Thyme said...

Just beautiful sentiments. I missed having no grandparents and my children missed out too. 'Cause they were so far away.

Eva Gallant said...

You are a better grandma than I. Of course, I worked full time until I was 65, but I wouldn't even consider babysitting my grand kids full time. I take them for an occasional afternoon or evening, but my kids know it's an occasional occurance. I've earned my retirement time and want to enjoy it!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

You've described it SO well. We're on summer break right now (something I know you don't get), but we've been talking about how we need to be strong and healthy enough to play ball and dance and keep up with two young-uns for another three years. I'm already 67, but Im sure I can do it IF I keep exercising. Otherwise, I won't have the stamina. But what a gift this is, having these children in our lives!

starsimplified said...

Miss Kris - I LOVE your attitude! I've said it before and I'll say it again, your grandsons are so lucky to have a grandma who loves them and who knows how valuable this shared time is. One day, many years from now, those boys will cherish the memories you're making with them today.

Rob-bear said...

We had our grandkids over for a Canada Day sleepover, which brought home all the wonderful thoughts you were sharing. They love to play with all sorts of things; they love to read, and be read to, and tell stories; they love to draw and paint.

Grandparents have time to do things that parents don't, or don't have the chance to do often enough. So grandparents and grandchildren become natural allies.

Grand piece, Kris.

Annie said...

I read this feeling like I was living in two worlds. One is the world that is very glad that my children are finally grown and I can enjoy them as such interesting adults. However, there is a small voice inside of me that is starting to whisper of a yearning for grandchild and nary an idea of one on the horizon. It's not a sad thing though; its just life serving me up a lesson in patience.