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.