My husband and I became grandparents while our 2 (out of 4) youngest were still in High School. Our oldest son married a wonderful gal who already had 2 sons of her own. He has since adopted them and they have a third son now.
At the time I did not feel like a grandma. Most of that was due to the fact that I was still a “mommy” with 2 in school. Also, having been a child of the 50’s – that’s 1950s to those of the present century – our grandparents were mostly gray-haired, bun wearing, large dresses and Mr Roger type sweater wearers. Whole different image back then.
(here is a picture with our oldest grandson at his High School graduation)
We now have a 4th grand child, she is just turning a year old. We moved half way across the country 3 years ago and had to leave the 3 boys behind – their parents wouldn’t let them come with us….. whatever. I miss them greatly. But since arriving here the last 2 have married and our youngest and his lovely wife have given us a grand-daughter. I have the privilege of caring for her at least 4 days a week. I hesitate here. I love spending time with her. I laugh, I cry and it’s all good – but it does make me miss my boys back east. But this “Ode to Grandparents” isn’t about me and all the joy I experience with mine. This is for the fellow comrades who find themselves in situations that caused them to be “parents” again. For whatever the reasons they have to raise their grandchildren – I lift my hat to them. Heck, I bow down at their feet and if I could I’d give them all their dream vacations. And I am serious.
I turned 60 in the fall. I’m stiff when I don’t want to be and there are many days I want to stay in bed and read a book or two – if it didn’t hurt to lay down for long periods of time. I’m not working now just because I don’t want to even though another income would be welcomed. But that does allow me to take care of the little girl. In her short illustrious life she has actually spent the night with Mammy and Papa 3 times. The first time I ended up on the couch with a restless baby on top of me and absolutely NO sleep. The second time we shared the guest room double bed so Papa and the dogs wouldn’t be disturbed or disturb us. It was going well until about 1 am when I gave her a bottle of goat milk while lying next to me in bed. She sucked so hard on the bottle that the nipple collapsed into the bottle and deposited goat milk all over the mattress and herself. Of course I had NO extra clothes for her so I ended up wrapping her in a blanket and cuddling her, which apparently that is all she wanted anyway because she promptly fell asleep till morning.
The third time was just this past weekend. Much progress has taken place. Except ……. she caught a cold – on MY watch! I almost panicked but we got through it after I drugged her lightly (don’t worry it was infants Tylenol).
Times have changed. Children today experience way too much heartache in this world. I thank you parents for sacrificing so much to give your loved ones the help and assistance they need. They are our future. We need to preserve and take back what was lost between generations. We need each other. All ages working together and supporting each other is a huge part of life.
God bless you.