The View From Here ...
...is not exactly what I expected it to be.
And for the record I'm not talking about the view shown here; that one is beautiful. I'm talking about the view from this place in my life, it isn't exactly what I once thought it would be.
Did you ever think about the kind of mother, grandmother, dad or grandpa you were going to be, long before it was actually time for it to happen? I did. I'm a thinker, a dreamer....I have always loved other people's kids -- I have infinite patience with them, so I once thought I would be a really good mom.
Only I wasn't. Oh, I kept my kids safe, clean, fed, and attempted to teach them what I thought they needed to know, but I missed a lot of live-in-the-moment opportunities. I think I knew it too, at the time, but I couldn't stop myself. The to do list in my head was way too long, the responsibility to achieve, to make myself useful too ingrained.
As a young mother I felt the guilt of knowing I wasn't taking enough time to enjoy my kids. I realize now I spent way too much time doing the unimportant things, like keeping my house clean, sending out Christmas cards, or doing what I thought I needed to do look like I was on top of it all. (Homemade cookies for the boys' birthday treats, handmade gifts for teachers, whatever it was I thought people expected of me). I felt shame when I lost my temper, or rushed through bedtime stories, or listened to my boys with only one ear while I was intently focused on accomplishing <something>, anything to prove my worth and my value to others.
But I powered on through my life hoping to make up for my mistakes one day -- when I was a grandma I was going to be awesome. My biggest fear was that my boys would move away and I wouldn't be able to see my grand kids often enough. I wanted that second chance to do it right.
I would do it all differently, I would appreciate every moment, read the books slowly so I could savor every minute of the snuggly cuddle and relish every sloppy kiss. I vowed not to care about spills or messes, instead I planned to enjoy my grand kids' uniqueness and quirky personalities. I loved the thought that I could have f-u-n with them and not have to feel the weight of responsibility of trying to teach them all that they needed to know to succeed in life.
I hoped that while I never really shined at mothering, grand mothering would be my thing. I could dote, spoil, play, enjoy ---on my time, and then send them back home when I needed to. I would be a great grandma.
I never dreamed I'd be a grandma who didn't even know her grandson. But this is where I learned someone had another plan for me.
Because I AM a grandma, but I've never met my grandson. My grand baby is just over three months old now. He doesn't know me. Or my family (yet) because he was given up for adoption. A difficult decision, but not mine to make. I am glad it wasn't up to me, it takes a lot of courage to let go and I am not sure I would have been able to make that selfless decision, which was in the best interest of the baby.
I hear he has loving parents; I pray they think he is the greatest thing ever. I'll bet he also has loving grandparents who take time to savor the little moments with him.
The ultimate irony, right? Never put off the present moment for some time in the future because it may never actually come. And if it does, it may not be what you anticipated. It just isn't the way I saw it all happening, without me in it.
This grandma won't be savoring any snuggles, cuddles, stories, or little moments any time soon. I will be lucky if I get to meet him at all.
If I needed proof that the control I clung to for most of my life was a big fat waste of time; this is it. It is a perfect reminder to enjoy what is right in front of you, when it is right in front of you. Or you may never get another chance.
I choose to believe that everything happens for a reason, and the view from here is one I needed to experience, even if it sucks, even if I don't yet understand it.