Thursday, September 16, 2010

Line of Demarcation

An invisible line is drawn between a grandparent and her/his child. Every so often the line is challenged either knowingly or not. Every so often the line is crossed. It is easy to cross with retreat a bit more difficult. Me? Well, I seem to sit on that line contemplating, tossing about the pluses and minuses of crossing the line. Benefits vs. backfire. Ah, I have 'line phobia'.

A child is born a blank slate. As they grow we do our best to help them learn, channeling them to making good decisions. Time outs, curfews, car keys, we have our methods. Not so easy for a grandparent. Now I ask for time outs, I want to retreat to my bedroom, and I'll fight to the death for my car keys. No written dialogue helps us through this transition of parent living with child. No, we are writing our own by trial and error.

My daughter and I have had our differences over the years. Some of our battles have been fairly intense. Yet time and granddaughters have given us a new playing field. Our focus is on the well-being of the girls and the healthy atmosphere in which we all live. I'm tired. This is a lot of work!

Been a long time since I have lived with children in the house. With my daughter working, I am the chief peace keeper, bottle washer, homework warden and boredom chaser. Is it what I want in my life right now? No. I was selfishly enjoying my space and time alone. I loved having the girls over a couple of times a week. TV shows were all mine. The sofa was all mine. I had no one else to consider except little 'ol me. Ah. Being a grandparent was great.

Day 6: We are still adjusting to mother and daughter living in the same house. I am trying to keep my own space, my own time, but it is impossible. My daughter can now depend on me to be with the kids when she isn't, yet I do not want to be their parent. I do not want that full time responsibility. Financially, we have no other choice.

There is a dance we are learning. Once in awhile I step on her toes and most times I try to hide my toes so they won't be trounced upon. We have not found our rhythm. So far the kids don't know about the dance. They are just happily enjoying having us all under one roof.

Maybe all grandparents should have a taste of this family unit. Maybe we all need to see what we are made of. Perhaps I'm in this place and time now to build a better relationship with my daughter. Maybe I'm in this situation for my grandchildren. Maybe, just maybe, I'm in it for me.

I am evolving. I am shaking off that selfish cocoon moving into new, wonderful experience with my family. I'm up to the challenge. I'm just working hard not to trip over that silly line.

1 comment:

  1. I imagine that this is a very difficult time. You live with your kids, then you have to adjust to living without them, then you're back together again, but everyone has deepened their independent ways at this point. Not so easy to mesh everything.

    Hang in there. With time and love, you will work this out.