Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Dream Deferred......

Being an in-residence grandmother, I don't have the luxury of inviting or bringing my grandchild over to my house, enjoying my time with her then returning to sender.  Making surprise visits to my daughter's home is not an option.  Whisking my granddaughter off for a weekend away with G'ammi just ain't gonna happen.......at least, not now.  You see, there's a difference between being the kind of grandparent that kids anticipate seeing on the weekends and vacations and the kind who are in their faces every. single. datblam (family euphemism for the blasphemous gd). day!  Growing up, I loved to go to either of my grandparents' houses (paternal grandmother and maternal grandparents).  I knew, once there, I'd have more freedom than I could dream of having at home; my cousins, sisters and I could run amuck and there was sure to be some kind of edible treats.  If I went to Grandma & Grandpa's house, money was definitely in the cards as Grandpa loved to make his grandbabies happy by dishing out the green.  Some of my most treasured and wonderful memories were made with or at the houses of my grandparents. Which is why I vowed to be the greatest grandparent I could be to my grandchildren, when my time came.  Well, my time came much sooner than I anticipated or appreciated. 

When I thought of my life as a grandmother, I imagined..........I would move in with my daughter after she gave birth to help her and her husband with their first run at parenthood; I would call to check in from whatever city, state or country I was in at any given time; I figured I'd be doing drive-bys (dispensing love and gifts, not bullets) on the weekends. I wanted to be the grandma who would make travel arrangements, day spa appointments and shopping trips especially for me and my grands. I wanted to be a spontaneous, fun-loving, spoil-grands-rotten kind of grandmother.  But, I'm not quite that kind......yet. Since she lives with me, I see my granddaughter every day, except for the weekends when she goes to visit her other grandparents.  Don't get me wrong, I love seeing her every day and on the days I don't, I get some peace and quiet miss her.  But I wish I had a choice on whether or not I saw her every day and I wish our time together felt more like a retreat than an overstayed welcome.

Because my daughter is a first-time Mom and a growing, maturing and still learning about life young woman, I have to play the role of 2nd Mom more than I get to play Gammi the G'va (that's Grandma & Diva rolled into one).  I make bottles, wash bottles, do feedings, bath time, play time, nap time, bedtime, middle-of-the-night-soothing time, calm-yo-behind-down-before-I-skin-it time.....none of which fit into the times I had planned in my mind.  Granted, I don't do all of these things every singe day and some I've only done a few times BUT, the combined efforts I feel obligated to put forth cuts into my 'Gammi Time.'  So much so that I don't believe I've ever spent a full 24 hours with my gran'diva alone. I don't babysit her for more than a few hours at a time and I only babysit once in a good while. When she goes away on the weekends, I feel like I'm getting almost as big of a break as my daughter gets. Of course, I miss the gran'diva when she's away but I'm also glad to see somebody else get a taste of her baby-wrath her go on the weekends. One day, I'll be able to be the kind of grandmother I yearn to be.....but for now, I'll make the best of our family arrangements. Fortunately, for all involved, my gran'diva has other grandparents, aunts and uncles who love her to pieces and enjoy spending time with her.  My daughter has an awesome support system and for that, I am thankful!