If We Build It, Will They Come?



It was a dream, building the house out on the end of the island. We worked excitedly with the architect and our builder friends coming up with the perfect plan to accommodate our growing family. Yes it’s true, they are adults now with lives of their own, but the idea was that they would come and stay off and on all through the summers and eventually bring along our grandchildren, of course. We would have such great times together, as a family, year after year, until we are gone from this earth and it doesn’t matter to us anymore.

They would come to grandma and grandpas house and go crabbing and have beach fires at night and fall in love with our salt water lake, just as we have.

The last thing in the world she would do is move far far away. Why would she do that? It’s perfect here. And besides, it’s were we are. And the last thing we expected them to do is build a vacation home of their own on the other side of the mountains on a different body of water. Why would they do that? Don’t they know it’s perfect here? And besides, that isn’t where we live, you see – we live over here.

So, what happened? Didn’t they get it? Thank goodness for the one that got it! At least we’ve got one going along with the plan. Or, maybe the other two got it, but our plan didn’t fit into theirs. Maybe that’s the problem. I guess we forgot to tell them they can’t make plans of their own. Just stick with ours kids! We’ve got a great one!

So what do we do, as grandparents with such a failed plan? We fill it up with other friends and family as best we can. It keeps us from focusing on this unexpected conundrum, from letting it sadden our hearts.  But how do we make great memories for our grandchildren if the plan is usurped? How will they have memories of the great times at the beach with grandma and grandpa if they don’t spend their summers here?

I guess they are all doing what they are supposed to be doing at this time of their lives. I know we need to be happy and proud of them and celebrate their journey. And, of course we know we have to let go and proudly watch them move on in life, independent and free to carry out their own plans. But…

It’s tough being grandparents.


Mary Ann





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