Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Grandparenting With Grace: Today the Grace Eludes Me

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Some days are just not fun. I am reminded again that I cannot control how each day will progress. I can plan, but more often than not, plans do not unfold as expected. Take this last Monday for example, I had some errands to run and then the afternoon was going to be spent at home getting a few things done and enjoying the beautiful day. However, my grandchild decided to have one melt-down after another,,,, until I had one of my own. Yes, I became as mature as the screaming, thrashing 3 year old in the back seat. Usually I can hold it together and talk her down from whatever set her off. Monday, nothing worked. Instead, after each burst of temper and emotion-another followed with her next breath. Nothing got done. To make matters worse we were in the car on the way to an appointment, which I canceled. Silly me, I had pulled over for her to watch two Bald Eagles on the side of the road--huge and majestic birds flying off, then returning to eat some road kill. The melt down was caused by not being able to see the road kill. Had I ignored the Eagles perhaps we could have avoided the melt down? Her first melt down that morning had been over not being able to hug and kiss the cats goodbye after their vet appointment before we left for the chiropractor (after dropping them off back at home), they were too quick getting out of their crates. No chiropractor, no groceries. We turned around and went home. Unfortunately it continued to be meltdown day. Every request, every correction was met with a meltdown. Finally I just put her to bed. She slept for 2 hours. Go figure, it was only 11:30 am, she had slept in til 8 am. I never thought she could be so tired. But, I was. Tired of the crying, screaming, demanding. Tired of trying so hard to get it right. Tired of holding everything together for everyone. Tired of wanting so much and having to settle for this--the muddling through of raising another child. I don't care what any expert tells me, or you, we never get it "right" (perfect) because all situations are different and each child unique. I know I was a better mother 20-30 years ago, no matter  the experience I have gained since. I wish I had that same energy and expectation I had back then, the hopefulness for the future. I have too much knowledge, too much experience and I am tired. Monday I was happy. Looking forward to the week, but Monday drained me and today I am still sad, grieving for HOPE.  She seems to have gotten away from me.

There is so much that needs to be done. Just the simple tasks of everyday life. I can't seem to get them done when I am drained by the demand for patience that is beyond what I have to give. My husband doesn't understand that once drained of patience, energy is not easily available to give to other tasks-or even enjoyable activities. For even my enjoyable activities demand patience. For example, sewing, interacting with my horses, teaching a Sunday school class, etc, etc. You get the picture here? There are days I have nothing left to give. I have nothing, I am an empty vessel crying out to be filled. I pray, read scripture. I cry and keep trying. But I am alone, so alone. Where can encouragement be found? I have asked for help, but there is none to be found. There are few to ask to give me a break. My friends are busy with their lives and do not like the interruption of a child during our conversations or visits, so these have become few. I know God must be at work in this, but it really feels like a long distance relationship.In addition, I have no rights, no authority. I am reminded of this constantly, being told I need the mother's signature- information cannot be released to me, even though I am the one bringing the child everywhere telling whoever what needs to be known. I say screw it. Each day I become a little more invisible, I fear one day I will cease even being able to see myself.

I also know I am dealing with feelings. Feelings change. I am wondering if tomorrow will bring something better than today. I am tired of being sad. I want to smile, to laugh to feel light and free to enjoy life. I want someone to tell me I am doing a great job. That they're proud of me and admire me for what I have undertaken. I want someone to come alongside of me and carry my cross for a few steps up the steep hill of life. I'd like someone to cry with me, understand my fears, and my insecurities. I am tired of having to hold it all in because no one wants to hear me speak of the pain. Because after all "Grand-parenting is so fun".

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