Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Morning Drive Time Epiphany

Recently I have gone thru a transformation regarding being a mother and a grandmother. It started Sunday when I went to a friend’s Christmas party. All of the friends that I had there are now grandmas. All of them still have their daughters and their grandbabies living at home with them. All of their daughters are single moms. This just seems really weird to me. These are not young girls. They are in their 20’s.
Since my own daughter (who is pregnant) and who will be a single mom announced to me that she was pregnant…. I felt trapped. I couldn’t get over the fact that she was not standing on her own two feet and was not even in a place where she could fully take care of herself and support herself let alone a baby. This scared the shit out of me because I have been thinking that this baby would now be my responsibility. Well, I got a reality check Sunday when I watched these young ladies and their babies and their moms. I came to realize that I am really excited about being a grandma and that is what I will be….a grandma. I will not be raising my grandbaby, my daughter will.
I have also had a huge reality check in my heart. You see for about the last 3 or 4 years I have been really pushing my daughter to think ahead and get out of my house. I was wanting my own life. I wanted to live my life. And I didn’t think that I could do that with my grown children still living at home. But here is the thing…….I had an epiphany this morning driving to work. Ready for this?? I’m already living my life. Where is it written that the “kids” have to be out of the house in order for me to “live my life”?? Where did that come from? I for one, love having my kids around. I grew up very lonely so I love having kids. I love the giggles, the yelling, the hugs, the help. I love it all. I am not in a hurry to have an empty nest.
Where did that train of thought come from? That we had to have the kids out of the house when they reached 18? Is that part of the American Dream? I know that it is not that way in Europe. It isn’t that way in China, Asia, Russia, South America, Africa. It just isn’t that way. The children live with the parents and they all pool the resources and support each other. The children are surrounded by adults that want and love them. My grandbaby will be surrounded by it’s Grammy (ME) and an Aunt and Uncle and a mommy, and tons of other people that will totally adore them. I have always believed that we are supposed to take care of our own. That extended family is the way God designed it. Even in the bible we are charged by God to take care of the widows and the elderly. What about the young girls? What about the grown children that are coming back home because of loss of jobs and broken marriages? Do we turn them away and not provide simple basic human kindness to our own because it is not what we see as normal? Because we want our own life? Am I missing something here?
I don’t have all the answers. Just a little more light at the end of my tunnel. I will not turn my daughter out or make her feel unwanted anymore. I do want her. I do want my grand baby. And I don’t want any man in my life that cannot embrace that. That is for sure. The legacy we give our kids is what we show them. What kind of mom would I be if I continued to push my babies out the door? This doesn’t change the fact that I will PUSH hard for them to develop their own lives apart from me. They all need careers and their own identities. But my kids will always know that my door will be open. They will be wanted. They will be received by me with my eyes and my arms wide open.

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