Tuesday, January 9, 2018

    When I look at these photos that were hanging on the wall in my daughter’s house, I ask myself, “Where did the years go?” Only old people say such things, I know, but it’s true. Ask any Mom of a 9-year-old about her child when he or she was 3, and she may be relieved to be done with toddlers, but there will be an expression of love and nostalgia on her face. Every stage has its pros and cons, of course, but when I look at this photo of my parents, long gone, I find it hard to believe that these two little ones are now moms of my seven grandchildren, the oldest of whom is now almost 18 years old. Oh, my.

     Then there’s this photo of me when I was young enough to be sitting on my mother’s
 (Lie on side to view this photo:)
dining room table. I was bald until I was three, had enough hair for three until two years ago, and now I’m heading back to the “dining table” look. ugh. But what’s curious is the look on my face. It’s the same look I give Mr. Wonderful when I’m thinking, “You’re kidding me right now, right?”

     I have been surrounded by my four grand-daughters for the past six days, and I already have a lump in my throat when I think about leaving them tomorrow. It has been such fun, and I’m so grateful that I am healthy enough and coherent enough at my age to enjoy them. Each one has her talents and tantrums, but they are all pure love. There’s the over-achiever, the carefree animal lover, the “I’ll-do-it-my-way-when-I-feel-like-it,” and the whiner/singer/storyteller. My daughter has her arms full, but in those arms are years of love and memories to cherish. Her patience amazes me. 

      When we visit family or friends, we are thrown into another, usually different, lifestyle for however long. It’s interesting how fast I adapt. Maybe it’s because I moved so many times as a youngster or maybe it’s just the way I am, but after a few days, I have to stop and think to remember what my own house looked like and what I was doing in my own life back home.

     Yesterday, my daughter and I spent the day sharing at lunch, shopping, working out till I can barely walk and preparing dinner for four munchkins, three of whom actually ate what I cooked. 
When I hear women talk about how much fun it is to spend time with their grandchildren, I always think, “Yes, that’s true, but I enjoy my time with my daughters as much if not more than with the little ones.” We can watch how much or how little they parent like we did, and observe how many of our genes or how few are at work in their attitudes and behaviors. I am happy to say that most of the good ones stuck. Lord knows, there were plenty that I hoped would not.

      It will seem strange not to have the twins in sleeping bags at my feet tomorrow night and to wake up in total quiet Thursday morning. It will feel a bit sad not working out with my daughter and not seeing the sun rising over the mountains from the kitchen window. I will have Mr. Wonderful at my side though, his newspaper glued to his face, his heating pad at his back and his loving eyes wishing me good morning.