For a lot of Court’s elementary school years, I was a single parent. If I sound like I’m whining, then shame on me. Because while there certainly are single parents who have a lot about which to whine, I wasn’t one of them. Court’s dad was involved in our lives even after we signed the divorce papers. We shared custody, and he was generous with his time and pocketbook.
What’s more, I was lucky enough to have a boss who believed in the importance of family. As such, I never had to miss a school performance or a teacher conference. I could take my son to doctor’s appointments without having to use my own personal paid time off. I could volunteer in the lunchroom.
Nevertheless, after working all day, coming home and preparing dinner, helping with homework, and (when he was still young) getting him ready for bed, including books and prayers, I was very tired and ready for bed myself.
And I only had one child. One.
So I look at people – even two-parent households — who have two or three or four kids (I simply won’t let myself think about more children than that), and can’t even imagine how they manage. Even if there are two parents, and even if one of the parents doesn’t work outside the home, the simple physics involved in getting each child to the place where they’re supposed to be seems nearly impossible and must involve a spreadsheet. How else do you keep it all organized?
People have asked me if I volunteer now that I’m retired. At first I would say no. And then it occurred to me that the correct answer is that yes, I volunteer – with my grandkids. It’s one of the things I miss most when we are in AZ for the winter. Because trite as it may sound, it really does take a village.
Since we’ve been back – we returned to Denver just over a week ago – I have been to a birthday party….
….watched a field day, kept 3-year-old Cole for a day while his mommy volunteered….
….cheered at Addie’s volleyball game….
….watched Kaiya’s bridging ceremony (during which she actually walked across a little wooden bridge in a park near her house symbolizing her move from being a Brownie to being a Junior Girl Scout)….
….and watched Addie perform magnificently in a play…..
All this in addition to my own doctor’s appointment, x-ray appointment, and eye doctor appointment. No wonder my days sometimes seemed long in AZ. Whew.
The other day, all of the grandparents got an email from Jll early in the morning. Calling all grandparents, she said, though not in those exact words. Something had come up that required her attendance that evening, and each of the four kids had an activity. And none in the same place. Can anyone help, she wondered.
And everyone that could, did. Not only did I attend the volleyball game, but I was the ride home. Bill might have taken Alastair to his baseball game, but it was rained out. Grandma Lynne handled Dagny’s dive practice and Maggie Faith’s school concert.
I assure you that I’m not complaining. I love every minute that I spend with my grands. Even time in a car. And while Cole is very busy, he’s also very funny. My grandkids all make me laugh, and it’s good to laugh. And thankfully, Cole wears himself out, as indicated by his falling asleep in a nontraditional spot under the coffee table in our living room….
So children, keep me on speed dial when in need of help. It will help keep me young. Now if I could just figure out a way to use Star Trek technology and get myself to VT to help with the grandkids there!
This post linked to the GRAND Social