Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Simple Joys

It is a joy to become a grandmother! In the relatively short span of time 2014-2018, I have been blessed with five wonderful grandchildren - different in so many ways and yet so delightful in every way. It is a miracle to become aware of how thoroughly and completely I love each of them. The old adage that love can only multiply - not divide - is totally true, and must be experienced first hand!

How lovely is the simple word 'well' -- like the water in a well literally wells up as more water is used, so too does love well up in the heart. Very grateful for this wonderful experience.

Clearly, to become a grandmother, I was first a mother. To four wonderful sons actually. And I love each of them very much, then as now. But that experience was totally different. The responsibility of raising them well was fraught with worry, concern, anxiety and self-doubt. The newly coined word "FOMO" that I became aware of recently (Fear of Missing Out) was actually very relevant to me as a young mother, although I did not know the word per se. The fear that I might actually be missing on some crucial information in the context of raising my sons well was hugely magnified by a whole host of allied reasons.

Foremost amongst those reasons was the fact that we had recently migrated to America from India. This was nothing like the immigration that happens now. Rather, set the clock back to 1975 -- to that prehistoric time before computers, internet, google, mobile phones and social media. The only knowledge at our fingertips at that time was from walking our fingers across the bulky yellow pages: a miraculous compendium of places where I could find things without beating the streets on foot, a princess phone at my elbow with its snaking chord from the wall--a phone that actually worked, and people who actually answered on the other end of the line! Yes. An American dream indeed. And the fact that the TV had more than one channel, as opposed to the Doordarshan that was just coming up in India, was amazing. To see news unfold live as it was being reported felt miraculous in contrast to the elegant young lady we saw on Doordarshan, reading the news from a paper on her desk -- a great improvement, so to speak, over reading the newspaper the next morning after father was done with it during breakfast.

But that was not all. The whole school system for the children was Greek and Latin to me, with frustrating names like Freshman, Sophmore, Junior and Senior; not to be confused with elementary, junior high and high. By the time I unraveled differences between nomenclature for gifted children and special children, time was speeding along like an arrow. Finding a job was hard enough; but trying to look for preschool help and after school care for four children, each in a different grade and school, was a maze from which I did not reappear for several years. If I looked dazed all the time, it was because I was compressing 72 years of school education for 4 boys into a concurrent span of 22 years. I forgive myself now for my frumpiness. And then there were all those acronyms to master: PSAT, SAT, AP Courses, Satellite Specials, PTAs, Proms, corsages and boutonnieres. You rent Tuxedos? Yes, you do! Really! Never heard of such a scandalous thing... renting clothes for the kids indeed. But you go with the flow because there's not much else to do. College apps, essays and interviews... lets not even go there. I am already reaching for my cholesterol meds.

No wonder I adore the grandkids. It is all love and no stress. The parents know everything. Google is a master grandma, doctor, teacher, counselor and everything else rolled into one. Why worry? I am here to play with the kids to my heart's content, and then return the gifts with love to their owners :-) I could have twenty more grand kids and no worries. Wonder why their mothers stress so much? Any ideas? Heh heh. Bye sweetie pies. See you next week!

And off I go, my husband grumbling at the wheel that I left two hours later than planned. Oh well. It IS a lot of work to run around with the lil ones, you know. Raising children these days is hard, I repeat, suppressing the smile threatening to spill around my words.

See you guys too next week. So long!