What an amazing opportunity – to be invited to spend six weeks with my grandchildren, helping out as I can while my son is on a seven month deployment in the U.S. Navy. Over the years, I haven’t had many chances to spend a lot of time with them. With both my son and daughter in law in the Navy, they’ve been stationed nowhere near me, which has NOT met my expectations of what grandmotherhood would look like!
Being with these young ones (ages 12 and 10) is quite the experience! I see both of their parents in them – their looks, their mannerisms, their interests.
I also see some things that are a little scary…some ways that they’re just like me! I’m getting flashbacks of what I must have been like as a child! Things that trouble me, things that frustrate me, things that I realize I still struggle with – which, of course, is why they bug me in the kids! The sins of the mother being visited on the kids and all.
When I read A Note from a Mother, it got me teary…I love my son so much. I love these young ones. It’s certainly a growth opportunity to see, in retrospect, so many things I wish I had done things differently, to have been a ‘better’ parent. To have those mistakes come back to ‘haunt’ me is an opportunity to not beat myself up for all those old ‘sins’ but rather to recognize I did the best I could. My son and daughter in law are doing the best they can. These kidlets will wind up doing the best they can, too.
None of us get instruction booklets. We’re doing the best we can and we’re imperfect and pretty messy. Sometimes – often – we like to pretend we’ve got it all together, but it’s rare that we do. The messiness can actually be part of the creativity of life, where the good stuff can happen.
So let’s celebrate those ‘oh, crap,’ unmet expectation, messy moments. Maybe even dig around in them and see if there aren’t some gems to be found.