After having three children and reaching the age of 46, I was pretty certain that my parenting days were numbered and that there would be no new additions to our home. But I was wrong. It wasn’t planned; it just happened. Our bundle of joy arrived in July, weighing in at a solid 90 pounds and measuring a whopping 59 inches. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this one of my grandmother’s regular trips to visit my family would different than all the ones before.
Prior to July, Granny lived in her own home along with my mother in San Antonio. But with my mother working a demanding full time job, Granny was alone for most of the day. The old lady suffers from chronic conditions that make breathing difficult and cause her considerable pain. In addition, her little legs are now given to buckling creating yet another concern. With one kid in college, one in high school, and one in middle school – our hours are varied and her time alone is minimal. So, after a few months of “visiting,” Granny announced that she needed to have her mail forwarded to Houston. That was it. Nine months have passed now and our new addition has become quite comfortable as a permanent member of the household. And I’ve come to the amusing realization that caring for old folks is absolutely unquestionably comparable to caring for children.
So Dang Cute. I Just Want to Squeeze Her.
Granny says the darndest things. Take for example, one day in the not so recent past, she called to tell me she couldn’t access Facebook. She said that she needed to make a payment, but she couldn’t find her bill. I chuckled imagining her rummaging through her bills looking for the Facebook logo. I told her Facebook is free and I reset her password. On another day, we were passing one of my preferred bakeries; I asked her if she would like a petit-four. Granny responded by telling me that she doesn’t like people touching her feet. I bought her a petit-four and I did not touch her feet. And then there was the time when I jokingly told her that she was welcome to stay with me as long as she could get to the restroom on her own. She smiled and said, “Oh, I am looking forward to you changing my diapers.”
Out of the Mouths of Babes. And Old People.
Public outings are risky. Children and old folks have no filter. Thoughts generated and words communicated out loud are one in the same. Two weeks ago, we attended my daughter’s volleyball game. In the first minute of the game, she informed our Head Coach that she couldn’t see through him and that he had to find another place to stand while coaching. He moved. And I wanted to crawl under the bleachers. True story. Prior to the start of the volleyball game, my daughter returned to the bleachers, cupped her hand around my ear and whispered, “If she starts talking trash, get her out of here!” Because even the 12 year old knows.
Granny is the Chief of the Minor Infractions Police. Garbage bags left untied, clothes left in the washer, rolling stops… Granny is going to make sure you receive a warning and/or citation for the act. The tattle that really put her on the map occurred when we were on vacationing. During the cruise safety presentation, we were instructed to put our phones away. As the speaker began talking, Granny signaled one of the cruise staff members and threw her head over her right shoulder. I turned around to see a woman typing a message on her phone. Granny had tattled on a fellow cruiser. I guess she never heard, snitches get stitches.
The Dog Loves Her Best.
Perhaps it is because she is so easily swayed by his affection. He started out sleeping at the foot of her bed. Now, I think they share a pillow. The last time Granny went home, Chewy went into a deep depression. We actually made phone calls so that Chewy could hear Granny’s voice. In addition, she feeds him. Whatever she eats she shares with the dog. Much to my surprise, our Maltipoo likes chitterlings.
The Last Nerve.
Sometimes Granny gets on it. My nerve. The very last one. She is exceptionally hard headed. She doesn’t listen when I tell her stuff. She can be extremely argumentative. She always thinks food needs more salt. So when the nerve gets irritated, someone has to go to her room for a timeout. Yes. That would be me.
That L Word.
This is the big one. The love shared between parents and children and children and parents is unlike any other kind of love. Unconditional. Unlimited. Unwavering. That is the kind of love my grandmother has shown me all my life and the kind I feel for her now. Through her presence my three children have received a gift that not many people have the opportunity to receive. Conversely, watching them take care of and love on her has been a lesson for them I hope they carry throughout their lives. Our 93 year old unexpected bundle of joy… everyone should be so fortunate. In our home, we are going to soak it all up and love on the old lady for as long as we can.