A New Role for Grandma
Since New Years’ Eve 2016 I have been in San Diego, living with my son and daughter-in-law and caring for their first child, my youngest granddaughter, while they work.
Meeting the needs of an infant is taxing physically and emotionally. Ask any young parent. When the baby is awake at night, I lose sleep right along with her parents. Sometimes I start watching the clock in the late afternoon, grateful to know that another adult will soon be here. But for the most part, spending my days with this precious child is exciting and fulfilling. And very very worthwhile.
Every day I get to see tiny developmental changes, discoveries that she makes about her body and the world, and new skills growing as she works toward mastery. Her smiles refresh me when I am tired, and her unfettered laugh melts my heart. Most infants express their emotions freely. Her cries of surprise, hunger, and discomfort leave no doubt as to their message, and joy can be seen in her face, her laugh, and her whole body at once.
Admittedly, there are days when I miss my home, my garden, my first grandchild Bean and her mother, my beloved Border Collie, and all my friends. But this time in San Diego will be a short interlude in my very long life, and I believe it is important to give this tiny child the presence of a devoted grandmother for the few hours a day that her mother and father cannot spend with her.
Reading My Own Blog
Last summer, before I was asked to come here, I wrote an article about Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren. Since I had no personal experience of living with a grandchild at the time, I drew from the years I have spent living just down the street from Bean and taking care of her part time. I researched full-time caregiving in books and articles, and interviewed several friends who had either taken their grandchildren into their own homes or moved in with their own children to help.
I re-read that post this morning while browsing my Linked-In account, where I had posted a link. It still reads true after living with this little peanut for two months, and I made note of a few ideas that will be helpful to us as we go forward.
But I’ve learned a lot about communal family living since writing that article, and now I actually know what it feels like to be an elder caring for an infant for extended periods of time. I’m also beginning to think that this break from writing my blog has been long enough, and I am almost ready to start sharing my experiences and some of the things I have learned with others.
Is Anyone Still Listening?
I wonder if anyone is still out there, and if so, if you would be interested in reading my thoughts once again. Writing a blog can feel very lonely. I only know that someone is reading my words if they communicate with me.
As I consider returning to the keyboard I also wonder what else I might write about that would interest readers.
Which of my two years’ worth of articles did you enjoy the most? What kinds of things do you wonder about and would like me to research for you? Which of my stories stayed with you? Do you want more recipes, more activities to do with grandchildren, more tales of our adventures together? I would love to hear from you as I begin to write in my journal again and prepare to return to this blog.
Please post your comments below so that others may see them and continue the conversation, or if you would prefer, send them to me privately by clicking on the Ask Me A Question button at the top right of this page.
I await your instructions!