When acquaintances learn of my role as grandMOM, there are two basic reactions. Some people express delight. “Oh, how lucky for both of you. You get to spend those precious moments with your grandchild!”
The other reaction is horror. These people see my responsibility as a huge burden. They pass on sympathy as if I have lost a dear relative or friend. Their angst over my loss of freedom is overwhelming.
The truth of my situation is really a bit of both. True, I don’t have the freedom that an Empty Nester enjoys. I can’t pick up and go have coffee or take a weekend jaunt without pre-planning. Quite a lot of pre-planning. And the responsibilities are constantly in my face. Anyone who has raised kids understands the enormity of what their care involves. And unlike other jobs, this one is indeed 24/7. So it is exhausting. (When I was thirty and raising my family, it was exhausting. Now it is exhausting times 3!)
But, I love spending time with my GD. She is lively and funny, smart and interesting. She’s good company. And now I cannot imagine life without her being my little shadow. I feel thankful and blessed to have her with me.
So it those who are horrified that my life is over, I say, “Oh, it isn’t so bad.” And to those who say, “Aren’t you lucky?” I say, “I am. I’m very tired, but I’m lucky.”