Monday, July 4, 2016

grandparents and the boys of summer, part 1

I haven't written a post for a long time.  It seems one thing after another has occupied my time - many pleasant or wonderful or necessary things, but nothing that I've felt compelled to share.  My summer occupation is something that might be of interest, however. 
Owing to various circumstances, we end up having two of my younger grandsons here for a good portion of the summer.  These are the boys, Marcus and Ethan, who moved away in January.  I have missed them terribly. We thought they'd come to visit us for a few weeks, but that has been extended.  And that comes with challenges.

I feel my age.  When you're young, you have energy for the non stop activity that is common to a 5 year old. At 71, not so much. I've tried to establish some built in rest periods in the afternoons - an hour when everyone needs to be quiet.  They can read, play with legos, take a nap - but no electronics, no movies. Once I've had this time to myself, I'm better able to handle the uptick of evening energy expenditures that seems to go on from 5 to 9:30 pm.

I am lonely.  My friends do not have young children.  Our socialization does not take place around kid activities. I feel cut off from many of the friends and events that nourish me.  I try to involve the kids in some of the things that are important to me - going to art exhibits that they might also like, exploring the natural world, visiting with friends who do enjoy kids. I do my meditations in short intervals - 5 minutes here, a 20 minute walking time there. Sometimes Al takes the boys out to a park for a few hours and then I get cleaning and a quiet meditation in. I am experimenting. I am remembering how it was to try to exercise and meditate and satisfy some of my needs when I was a young mother.  And I try to use these memories to increase my compassion for parents everywhere.

I find myself being envious - I think of people who have money to send their grandchildren to wonderful camps, who take fabulous vacations around the world, who might have things "easier".  But, of course, the minute you go there, if you are at all aware of anything, you have to get yourself off the damn pity pot to remember that you are very privileged.

These boys, and all of our grandchildren, are the loves of our lives.  We are very lucky. Some live close by. These two who are living away are here for a couple of months. How can we enjoy this gift?

That is the question that needs an answer now. I want to live into these days in a way that doesn't wish any of them away, but wants to be absolutely grateful for this precious time.

If you have any similar experiences and thoughts and insights - I would welcome them!

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