Before having kids, of course, we assumed that our parents would adore their grandchildren, but once you actually get to witness the sheer joy the kids bring to them just by existing – that’s when you really understand what a special bond it is.
Since I became a mom, my own mom is and continues to be a lifeline for me. The person to whom I can confess how hard this is without her judging me and who also reminds me on the days that I doubt myself that I can do this. When we visit with my parents, the kids chat their ears off and vie for their attention while my parents soak in the hugs and kisses, marveling at the kids’ latest tales. I can see their happiness as my childhood home transforms back into the hustle and bustle of the days when my brothers and I lived there – toys, noise, and chaos – bringing them right back.
Witnessing the joy our kids bring to their grandparents’ lives has served as another good reminder for me to slow down, soak it in, and appreciate the little things.
As much as I want to impart a love of cooking and an appreciation for good food upon my kids, at ages 4.5 and 2.5, cooking together is not all that enjoyable yet. There’s sibling fighting over who gets to stir what, flour and cracked eggs all over the floor, and I find myself rushing to get whatever it is into the oven. But, watching my mother-in-law (an amazing cook) in her kitchen with her grandkids helps me see it in a different light. I love seeing the joy it brings her to teach them about something she loves and the patience she has for their questions and messes. They are thrilled to spend this time in grandma’s kitchen and proudly feed their grandpa whatever it is they’ve created.
Things are different right now. At the time of my writing this, we’re about 2.5 months into social distancing. The kids have not gone this long without seeing their grandparents, ever, and this has absolutely been one of the more difficult aspects of the pandemic for our family. Both sets of grandparents live under two hours away, and we’ve always seen them frequently, from celebrating holidays together to weekend sleepovers and Sunday dinners. We’ve all felt the void despite our best efforts to recreate some semblance of normalcy through frequent FaceTime and Zoom sessions. We can’t wait until we can safely see them again and pick up right where we left off.