The one thing I can’t pack
In less than two months the Globetrotting Family hits the (warm weather only) road.
One year of “just us” time. And in so many ways I’m looking forward to that.
But anyone who knows me, knows that the biggest adjustment won’t be the food, the culture or parenting on the road.
The hardest thing will be doing it without her close by.
I knew from the very beginning of my journey into motherhood that raising my kids would be a team effort. My mother has been the captain of that team from the moment Ethan was born. At my side during the delivery, I saw the excitement and wonder on her face long before I saw his. And she’s never wavered.
Through my worries and fears.
In the moments, when I most doubted my ability to be a good mom.
At the times when I knew I couldn’t carry the burden alone.
She has always been there.
Whatever the emotion that is called for, my mother gives it to me in abundance.
If I’m frustrated, she is more so. If I’m angry, she is angrier. And on the few occasions when I’ve wanted to knock someone out, I haven’t been able to do it because I had to hold my mother back.
She is my rock, my moral compass, my closest confidante.
So much of who my kids are – polite, charming, sarcastic, witty, funny – is because they spend countless hours with Grandma.
She retired from her job early so she could look after my newborn son. She drives past my house, where I sit working, 5 days a week so that she can spend every afternoon with them at her house. My kids think of grandma’s house as a second home and have a sense of ownership of the place. They are growing up there, with their grandparents, as much as they are with Ish and I. My sons know that they can rely on their grandparents as much as they can their parents. It’s a rare gift in this day and age and it’s bigger than any other.
People constantly tell me how lucky I am.
Others whose mothers washed their hands of all things parental when the kids turned 18.
And others whose moms have no interest in grandchildren.
I am more than lucky. My mother is healthy and strong and funny as ever. Her love for her grandkids is palpable and her love for my brothers and I has never ever been questioned.
I’m lucky and I’m grateful and I’m forever in her debt.