It is the day after Thanksgiving, and I am listening to the sounds of very little people. These little people happen to be my youngest grandsons. The youngest is in the crib next to me. He is eight months old. He has been cooing for the last half hour. The eldest at thirty-four months is down the hall, singing in his bed. Mom is in her room on the opposite side of the hall.
As I awake to this music, I remember twenty-eight years ago: the young people making the music in the house were my own. As I reminisce, I am reminded of the hopes and dreams I had for my own children. Of course, high on my Thanksgiving list was gratefulness that they were healthy, warm and fed. As I listened to them, my mind would take a trip into the future and try to predict what they would become. Would they use their musical talent as a springboard for a career? They were showing signs of athleticism, would they mature toward that? Where would these naturally talented young people end up?
Again, I am having those thoughts, as I hear my grandsons wake to the new day. They are already showing signs of natural talent, and it is a mother’s, now grandmother’s prerogative to dream of the future. As I lie there, I think of my own daughter asleep down the hall…. At least I hope she is sleeping. I well remember the days living in England where my own brood were raised, and wishing that their grandmother were closer. Separated by an ocean, I longed for some motherly hugs as I moved through motherhood on my own. My husband was supportive after hours, but the daylight hours with two under three were long and lonely.
I am now the grandmother. My daughter and I are not separated by an ocean. There is only two hours of blacktop separating us. However, the demands of our separate lives do not allow us for more than a monthly visit. I remember the loneliness of the stay-at-home-mom existence. While the benefits far outweigh the negatives, loneliness is still an issue.
I also remember being sleep deprived. I see this replayed in my daughter’s life. Her husband is also wonderfully supportive. He is a first responder, and as such does not have the luxury of sleeping in his own bed every night. During the duty days, he can be on call for longer than twenty-four hours. Because I am not local, I cannot relieve her during these marathon days.
As I lie there listening to the children, I time travel back, and remember wondering if ever there would come a day when I would not have burp stains on my shoulder. Would there ever be a time when I would have a meal where I would not have to cut up someone else’s food, or enjoy a conversation without being interrupted a million times by my toddlers. I see the same questions in the almond shaped eyes that mirror mine.
I fast forward to the present, and think about my own two, now well into adulthood, and the promises and pressures that these times bring. Life is good. All these things I think about as I listen to the current music in the beds next to mine and down the hall. Today I have the wonderful opportunity of tending to these children while their mother has an extra forty winks down the hall. It is a good day. I am thankful…
Until next time,