Tuesday, 28 May 2013

When realities hit home

I know a lot of you are expecting most of my blog posts to be filled with complaints about living with my Mom, and while I will admit I have done my fair share of grumbling and adjusting, this is not going to be one of them.
Well okay, I may throw in a few grumbles for good measure, but in general this is a post to do with thankfulness.

Yesterday, I was watching my kids interact with their Granny and was hit by the reality of how lucky I am that they can have this time to get to know her. The last time they got to see her, they were 4 years old.  Now at 8 they have so much more to offer, and her to offer them.  There is so much love to be shared, so much patience from either side that they are all willing to give, just to spend time together.

We as immigrants give up so much when we move to the other side of the planet.  So far away from our childhood friends, our siblings, our parents.  Our kids don't know the sort of environment we grew up in, they don't know their grandparents, their aunts and uncles and often their cousins. We don't understand the sports that our kids are now exposed to, they are not what we grew up with and if they are lucky we will try to learn them so that we can bond over this as they grow up with it.

This year has been a trying year for my family which I guess makes realization so vivid.  My Dad passed away in February and my Mother-in-law passed on earlier this month.  That's two grandparents that my kids wont get to know, and that hurts us all.  So, as I look at the way that my children love their Granny so very much, the love in their eyes when they wrap their arms around her, the cuddles they are getting, the time that she spends talking and taking an interest in them, and the time they spend telling her the things I brush off a million times, I can only be thankful that they all have this time. I smile when they run to hug and kiss her goodbye before they leave for school in the morning and yet yell a simple "bye Mom, have a good day" as they grab their backpacks and rush for the door. I don't mind, I don't begrudge it, I am the first one they run to hug and wrap their arms around at pickup time anyway.

As much as I may complain about the little things, and they are little things, these are memories they will cherish, that I will cherish, even if I do think that being watched while I make soup out of a can is claustrophobic. (But that's a whole different blog post.)

Monday, 6 May 2013

When its time to grow up - or maybe not

I may be in my 40's, but I am sure, like many of you, I don't feel like I have ever grown up.  This is currently exacerbated by the fact that my Mom is coming to stay with us.  Somehow with her in the house I always feel like I am a teenager again.  Like I have to justify what I am doing and sneak around a little.
Don't get me wrong, my Mom is great, she is easy to live with and doesn't pass judgement (much), but I know it's still going to be an adjustment for me and for her having her living here.

At the moment, I have three days until she arrives, I am cleaning my house.  She told me not to be silly when I said I had to clean before she arrives, but trust me she has not seen my house!  She used to tell me my bedroom looked like a pig sty and in reality, what kid has not heard that line?  However now I'm an adult (I think) and add in two eight year olds, and my entire house looks like a pig sty.  Clean as I may, I cannot seem to get the kids to pick up after themselves, not leave their garbage where ever it falls and stop leaving socks lying in arbitrary places throughout the house.

A few days later....

Yes I got sidetracked, we had a lot of things happen that derailed my blog post, so now my Mom has been here for nearly 3 days and we are adjusting.  The kids are loving having her here. They have been on their best behavior and she in turn adores them.

I have only felt like a kid a few times, most notably when I told one of the kids to do something and she added afterwards a very pointed...."please??"  I countered with telling her it was a command, not a request.
In her favor, she has praised my child handling skills,...saying she loves the way I talk to the kids, and the tone I use with them.  From my side I think, great I'm glad she's praising not criticizing, but she hasn't been around long enough to see me lose my cool with them yet, so that will come.

The thing is there comes a point in your life when you are not sure if you are the adult or the child in the relationship. I still feel like the child, but find myself taking the adult role, guidance, checking up on things, doing all the organizing and also doing things like double checking her room and picking up pill packets that she's dropped on the floor so that the monster dog does not eat her blood pressure tablets   I guess it's a complicated stage of life for all.

  I was choosing a picture for the blog this week relating to being grown up, and there were just too many, so I found I could not just go with one...I thought perhaps even an explanation with some may be a good idea.

DH will attest to this one, the dishwasher has to be stacked my way.  It makes the most sense, you can fit everything in it, best use of space and most economical - there, doesn't that sound grown up? If someone else stacks it there are always dishes left over in the sink and who has to wash them...yes that would be me, the grown up in the house.

Yes, I'm guilty as charged of telling my kids lies like this to get them to stop asking questions and just accept what I have told them as the truth.

Well this describes me perfectly.  I don't think I'll ever feel totally grown up and then I look what I do all day and think, wow, they really should have a grown up doing this.  I am sure they would do a much better job....

Well yes, I wont go into details with all the cringe worthy things I do, but some days (okay, most days) I seriously question my grown up judgement.  I suspect that perhaps my inner teenage girl is lurking a little too close to the surface. But then, is that a bad thing?  I can hope that maybe when I am in my 60's I will still be thinking that my inner teenager is there and still doing stupid things that make me feel young again ;)