THE TRUTH ABOUT PARENTS
So I’m working on writing a little more “dangerously.” What exactly does this mean? It means telling the truth, being brutally honest, and facing fear of judgement. Ironically, one of the 25 things you don’t have time to read about me is that I am judgmental. This is something I am shameful for. So I have fear surrounding the whole “write dangerously” concept, because I am afraid of judgement. I fear something that we as humans are naturally wired for! I fear something we all do to one another on a daily basis. I can hear the little voice now, “What if they won’t like me?” “What if they get mad at me?” Sound familiar!?
Recently the Universe has dished up a few reminders on what I want to tell the truth about today. This is the truth about grandparents. Please understand the intention of this post and every truth telling post. The intention is to live vulnerably. To share my experiences & my stories in hopes of creating a connection with others who share the same truth. You see, the truth is, being a parent with aging parents is HARD.
You have a baby. Maybe you even have a 2nd or 3rd. You are excited. You expect your parents will be “all in.” Ssccrreeeecchh. Hold up. There’s the problem right there. You “expect.” Once expectations show up so does it’s evil cousin known as “disappointment.” Grandparents …. they can be here 1 minute and then gone the next (and I’m not talking just physically). This is the truth for any adult child with parents who have a debilitating disease, live far away, or who have poor mental health. My husband, Ty, and I live in the reality of having 1 set of grandparents who live far away and another set who are closer but not mentally fit to provide childcare.
It is hard, especially when you grew up with 2 kick ass grannies who were a part of your daily life. Damn I miss those hot tickets. It’s hard to see the highlight reel of Facebook, where grandparents are pictured taking care of sick little ones or taking the kids apple picking. It is hard to go to the local bookstore and witness a grandmother propping up a sleeping slumped over little one in the booster seat of the car. It is hard to see grammy and grampy at preschool pickup. It is hard to hear the stories of friends whose folks are heavily involved in their grandkids lives.
Please understand this is not a pity party. I am grateful my folks and in-laws are alive and involved when they can be. Trust me – those moments are cherished. The truth is my kids don’t have what I had and I have grief around that. The truth is my mom has Alzheimer’s and I have grief around the fact that she is slowly slipping away right before my eyes. The truth is my 84 yr old father abuses alcohol and I grieve for the joy that is missing from his life.
The truth is it is ok to have the grief. To have the disappointment. To have the sadness. To have whatever feeling you have; because it’s yours. So have the feelings and then when you are ready let them go. There’s no timeline. And since I’m being honest I started writing this post weeks ago on Oct. 5th (the day my youngest son turned 5) It was certainly not an easy post to write. That’s how long it took me to embrace the feelings and turn them into words.
Words that I think may resonate with those who find themselves in a similar truth. Because in the end it’s about the “me too.” It’s about being vulnerable and brave enough to share with one another.