Time Slips Away

The world is getting younger or I am getting older.  I think I like the former option better!  Of course that would mean that I haven’t lived long and I know that is not true. I have seen so many things come and go in my lifetime. 

I can still remember when TV’s had rabbit ears, antennas were on roof tops and families were limited to three channels and most of them had limited selections of shows. But all in all, that was good. It forced us as children to play outside verses watch television. 

Those were the days when playing outside did not mean watching for strangers lurking in the street. Nor were we, when I was growing up, forbidden to go to the park to play, infact we went there all the time.  Curfew meant being home in time for dinner or being within shouting distance of home when mom yelled your name and said “Come home now!” We did not have to necessarily be in visible site, just in the front yard at dusk.  And curfew was home by bedtime for school age kids, as homework was done right away so we could get outside to play!

Now I see children are forced to come home from school, if their parents work, and make their homes look uninhabited. Windows have curtains closed, doors locked and the TV on low volume. The home phone is not to be answered.  Each child has a cell phone in their possession and that is the only phone that can be answered.  If fact, parents must be called immediately to ensure their children get home and aren't snatched by a stranger.  Wow, what stress!

Heck when we were kids, there was one phone in the house, for everybody.  It usually was on the desk or the counter, in the most central location, where the traffic was the heaviest. It always was the loudest too when anyone called you in the room where the phone was positioned.  And noone cared whether you were on it, the volume in the room just got all the louder! We were elated when phones could hang on the wall and instead of turning a dial, they had push buttons. Next they came out with the extra-long cord so we could stretch it and walk around the kitchen while talking! 

Sometimes I see the young parents and I wonder what it would be like to raise a child in today’s world. I certainly miss, after attending child events, like kids graduation, birthday parties, dance recitals, sporting events, and such, some of the camaraderie of the parents and kids.  That was always fun, sharing in the joy of our children’s accomplishments.  The sheer light in my kids’s faces when they had so much pride was wonderful.  It made me know they were going to grow up being someone special.  Their pride carried over to us, the parents, and fed our undying support of them and increased their support system too.  Now I am on the outer edge as a grandparent, as an Aunt or as a friend. Still a supporter, still joyful but it is different. I feel a step removed. I am. 

But then, reality check, when I see the stress, I stop and think hard. I hear about the time involved with carting kids back and forth to practice, extra time spent working on things and the balancing act with time, money and patience, I am suddenly feeling drained. It all comes flooding back to me.  In my younger years, it was two children, just me doing the running, the homework, the private high school, doctor appointments, physical therapy, soccer year round, etc…   

Not much reflection is needed and I realize I am, at this age, a far better grandmother than a mother! Oh, if I had to be a mother to my grandchildren I could do it and would.  But my new approach would be quite different than my old approach.  I certainly would be smarter and work less harder. I would worry less and love and accept more. 

Back then, there seemed less unpleasantries in the world to talk about to children.  Violence in the school, for example, is too commonplace. Bullying is becoming a norm. So many outside influences that are affecting education in the schools, issues that teachers cannot possibly completely control.  These variables also make it harder on parents of today in many ways.  And more importantly, they are unfair to the majority of our children.

Having my grand-daughter this past week reminded me what I do best, the ‘grand-mother thing’. I can love unconditionally, I can discipline when it threatens to be hurtful or damage her reputation, and I can be concerned about her safety and well-being. I can listen, be supportive of everything her parents are trying to instill and teach her.  Oh, and best of all, I can be a fun vacation away from everything!  But I also get a break.  I do not have to do the hard work part of parenting.  But I get the rewards....of seeing her grow, thrive, dream, succeed and mature into a beautiful young girl.

Reality check time, I am getting older.  I won’t be here forever, any day now I could be hit with that dreaded 'C' word again or something else could knock me out. She will age, my granddaughter,  and I will be gone. My daughter-in-law tells me often, I can be a happy memory of fun times at Grandma’s house.  I think that is the legacy I would like to leave behind. Yeah, perhaps that will be one of my favorite stamps on this world.  Smiles for Ava!

   Introduction to Small Video

Sitting with Ava this past week, we were reviewing songs on my cell phone while stuck on the expressway for 2 1/12 hours when a horrible accident caused a complete shut-down. It was interesting to learn some of the songs I loved she had heard and loved too, my adorable little 6 year old granddaughter.  During this time of emptiness on the road, she sat on my lap, off and on, as the car was off, and we grew tired of walking around outside, talking to other drivers nearby, playing games, etc.  She was giving me massive bear hugs telling me how much she loved me. When I would repeat I loved her too, her response was always “I know Grandma.”   I wanted to share some images of the past week spent with her to a song she and I shared that night on the roadside.  She told me I was young when I said I was old. This song seems quite fitting, given that….  Click here for Video Link