I am in awe of myself. Not because of anything I am doing at the moment, but because of the amazing things I did in my twenties, thirties, and forties. When my oldest child was 4 1/2, I gave birth to my third child. It is true that once you have one child, adding to the mix is a piece of cake. But…I stayed home for 6 years, (which has its own unique problems for a woman) until number three was 2 years old. From that point on, I worked full-time, paying exorbitant amounts for daycare, and juggling our lives between traffic, school, homework, housework, and sanity.
Having experienced those now familiar institutions called separation and divorce, I did this juggling act pretty much on my own. When number 3 was 4 years old, I took a look at myself, and the life I was going to be able to provide for my children and beat feet back to my home town in the Aleutians so that the kids could be raised near my family. Wow! What a difference. No more daycare. No traffic. The kids walked to school. Extended family was there. The community was there. Of course I added things to the mix, so instead of just working and raising 3 children, I also was on numerous boards and was very involved in revitalizing culture. But I raised 3 kids who went to college, none of whom are in jail, and each is self-supporting. Wow.
So I am feeling a little bit embarrassed about the fact that I am rooting for this horrendous storm that we are in the midst of to continue….at least until late tomorrow. Why? Because my number 2 daughter was just out of town for a week, leaving me in charge of her one and only 11 year old. The plan was for her to come back on Friday, and then leave again on Monday for another week long business trip. Well, this being the Aleutians, her flight was cancelled on Friday. And on Saturday. Now, any normal person would have just hung it up and continued on their way to Portland. But this Aleutian woman that I raised finally made it home yesterday at about 2:40 in the afternoon. And is schedule to leave sometime today. I don’t know when. She flies so much, she never knows her flight numbers and packs the day of her flights. But after a week of being totally responsible for one child’s life, including feeding, homework, social activity, cleanliness, music lessons, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera….I really need a nap. And a lazy day. I want to throw in the towel.
I am really in awe of all those poor grandparents who have had to take on the role of parents in our society. I have never been more aware of nature’s limitations on energy and patience. The deja vu moments when you think, “Hey! I’ve already done this!” Yes, nature is right in making it more natural to have young when we are young. I can manage to be an excellent caretaker for a while, but, yeah…..I’m ready for simply being there after school for 2 hours until mom gets off work. That’s what I’m talking about.
Update: The weather cleared up. The planes flew. My whining did no good. But…I’m okay, lol, and SP is fine.
One thought on “Nature has it right”
On my Christmas visit with my son and grandchildren I had a hint of what you have written. To once again be with children to help them get ready for breakfast and school. Then later to play and read with them is both a joy remembered and at my age a drain on what little energy I have. But never would I give up the opportunity to share in their day if ever offered again. Thank you for you story…