Spring Break is coming to a close. The weather was dark, stormy and wet which put a bit of a strain on my entertainment skills because outdoor play was almost nonexistent. Excitement about the return to preschool has been building and my grandson is so glad the school won’t be “closed” anymore.
This morning he woke with a cough and fever. How could he catch anything? We were practically quarantined! Maybe it was the quick trip to McDonalds or an ailing handyman at Lowes, but things aren’t looking good for a return to school on Monday.
I’m going to need a large red rubber nose and a short course in making balloon animals if he has to stay at home any longer. Sigh.
Yesterday gave us an amazing 80 degree day, not at all typical for winter in Oklahoma. No disrespect to Mr. Groundhog, but I think we are moving into spring.
Eighty is right in my comfort zone (which is unrealistically narrow unless I move to Maui) and I was motivated by the sunshine and breezes to run, kick balls, examine sticks and play Frisbee for several hours. Playing Frisbee with a 3 ½ year old is more a game of who can toss it farthest followed by a race to go get the disk. The comfort of the warm sun and a little boy’s laughter kept me unaware of the time until dusk shooshed us in to make dinner.
Today I am grateful for a chill in the air which I am using as an excuse for calling it an indoor day. Candyland never looked so good. Of course my gingerbread boy token is moving a little slower around the board today.
Being a grandma/mom combo is challenging and will push me to the limits well beyond the sore muscles of keeping pace during the preschool years. I remember raising elementary and teenage grandchildren while facing drug-induced opposition and mental health issues. There’s a long road ahead even if things go well. It’s hard physically and emotionally, but I can do this.
My thanks to Helen Reddy for her still apropos affirmation that we can do whatever it takes. Regardless of your religious-socio-political opinions on the women’s movement that spawned the words nearly 40 years ago, I hope parenting grandparents – especially those whose children oppose what they are doing — will find strength in applying these words to their lives.
Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can face anything . . . .
I love when the kids call. This morning I got to talk with one of my sons during his commute to work – gotta love those Bluetooth phone connections! One of the things he said was that he really won the lottery when it came to grandmothers. And he did. Each of his grandmothers was a remarkable woman and as loving a grandparent as a child could ask for.
His remark made me think about how different I am as a grandmother.
My cousins and I would run excitedly to grandma’s kitchen cupboard that housed a dozen jars of homemade cookies, enough that each of us could find our favorite. Grandma was an awesome secret keeper and I could share with her all the things I would never tell my mom. We were kindred spirits. She kissed the back of my neck and I went home.
My mom had a toy closet where munchkins would dash to sort through a treasure-trove of Nana’s toys. She took the children one at a time for quality visits, went fishing, flew kites, made educational spots like the library and sea aquarium fascinating field trips, and made memory books with silly captions on the pictures. And then she hugged them tight and sent them home.
I want to be that kind of grandmother – but I’m not. Some days it makes me feel sorry for myself and other days it makes me just plain mad. I’m a little embarrassed to be jealous of grandmothers who get to enjoy that special relationship unfettered by the responsibilities of parenting. Don’t get me wrong, Mom would swat a kid on the behind if he misbehaved but discipline wasn’t the mainstay of her job.
When you laugh, sing, dance, and play as a parent, it’s a very different thing. There is something undefinable about the difference between a mother and a grandmother. And when Grandma has to cross that boundary and wear the hat that should be Mom’s, something gets lost. The grandkids don’t run in with excitement and anticipation. They’re just home.