One of the things that has been afforded to me, since I’ve been a grandmother, is a ringside seat to the human condition.
You live your whole life just making it one day at a time, and those days start stacking up, one on top of the other, and, when you look back, you really can’t remember when you started looking at things a certain way, or what, exactly, shaped your perspectives. When you’re a mother, you see some of these things happening in your children, but you’re really too busy just trying to get them raised to adulthood, in one piece, to truly contemplate it all. But when you’re a grandmother, you don’t have all that stuff in the way. Your focus is the child before you in all his or her spectacular glory.
The fact that I live apart from my grandkids has always been a source of emotional angst, as has been well documented here on ye ole blog. For the longest time, the angst was all mine, but there came a point, in the last year, when understanding began to dawn in Lilli. It was absolutely heartbreaking when, upon my being dropped at the airport, it would suddenly all come together for her, and she would fall completely apart. But now, at age 3 years and 9 months, she’s begun the anticipation, the dread, of something she knows will eventually come.
Several a times a day, since I’ve been here, she’s stopped suddenly while playing, or mentioned every single time I tuck her in, this…
I miss you Mimmie. I wish you didn’t have to leave. I wish you could just sleep here at our house all the time. How many more days, Mimmie?
I know that while I am the source of great joy and love for her, and enjoy a rare and wonderful relationship, I am also the reason she’s come to know one of her first anxieties…and that stinks. Understand that I don’t beat myself up about it; it is what it is, and I know am very blessed to be able to visit as often as I do. I also know that, if it wasn’t me, it would have been something else. We all get caught up in not enjoying the moment, because the future holds something we dread and we tend to fixate on that, rather than the joy right before us now.
The thing is, I had no idea it happened this early.
We’ve been talking, every time she mentions it, about what fun we’re having right now, while I’m here. I’m working on redirecting her thoughts to the moment, in hopes that it will be a tool she can use forever. I’d love for her to have a handle on that to make adulthood easier; something we all would enjoy having, amen? If I’m the reason for the anxiety, itself, I’d sure like to be the reason she learns to overcome it…pointing her, all the while, to the Reason she (we) can overcome anything.
“Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old they won’t be lost.” Proverbs 22:6 MSG
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 ESV
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NIV