When it comes to recognizing the important things in life, I’ve arrived slowly and a bit reluctantly. There was a time, after raising three children, that I ran as fast as I could down the road to just-leave-me-alone! I’d been missing out on all the stuff that I thought mattered to me, such as my music. Heading out in the car meant enjoying all the oldies I’d been missing, weather I cranked up the volume or listened at a whisper, it didn’t matter. What mattered was that it was my choice and no one elses, and most importantly no one was complaining about it.
Another biggie to me was a clean house. Having no kids around meant no mess. No dishes stacked up, no stinky chaotic bedrooms, no mountains of laundry, no sticky kitchen floor, no broken down cars in the driveway or cluttering up our garage. Gone. All of it. Gone.
The road to just-leave-me-alone brought relief and restfulness. Sleep came easier and in greater blocks of time when we were no longer waiting up for our teenagers to wander in by curfew, praying they would be timely and safe. Worry, worry, worry. Don’t drink and drive, don’t drive to fast, don’t keep me up too late, don’t hang out with the crazy kids, don’t, don’t, and don’t.
They understood just-leave-me-alone and took it upon themselves to move out, graduate with college degrees and get jobs. We were relieved. We relaxed. We were free.
Yet, time travels on and things change in our hearts just as in our physical selves. We got caught up on our rest and began feeling re energized, took a decisive step back from stress, reinstated a peaceful state of mind, and nurtured ourselves as we looked ahead eagerly to the next stage of our lives. And the next stage has been the best.
Grandparenting is a realization of how valuable every moment in our lives is and always has been. It is a miracle, a gift, our drug of choice. Let the baby food fly, stick in my hair and all over the floor. Let the bedroom smell like poopy diapers, let the toys be tripped over again and again, and let the drool soak his tiny little shirts so we can change him five times a day.
We’ll stay up half the night rocking and singing lullaby’s that have become our new favorite music. We’ll help him learn to walk and talk and we will love, love, love, every minute of it. I may have ran like a tired old horse on it’s way to the barn but I’m back from just-leave-me-alone and ready for this new adventure. I’m sure the time will come, many years from now, when I will once again need to travel back down the road to leave-me-alone. But for now, we welcome our new position in life with happy hearts, good strong backs, and great joy.