I’ve been thinking a lot about being a grandma lately. I guess maybe because I am a fairly new one.
But I’ve also been listening to the struggles parents have in trying to make things fair or equal between the grandparents – especially at holiday time.
I spoke with a parent this weekend who told me the challenges of going to her hometown at Christmas with her two children – the hometown where both sets of grandparents lived.
There was no way to make everyone happy she said. One set of grandparents always seemed to be thinking the other set got more time than they did with the grandchildren – even though the parents stressed over how to make it come out even. It wasn’t fun.
There are other families I know who spend most of the holidays in the car celebrating part of Christmas day with one family and then scurrying off to re-eat a big dinner at the next family’s home and open another round of presents. The holiday becomes a big blur and a series of meltdowns – both the children’s and the parent’s.
But then a mom who I spoke with at Play Shoppe shared that she and her husband decided to claim Christmas for themselves and their children, begin to create their own family traditions by staying put and celebrating in their own home. They planned a January visit to grandparents.
And guess what? The grandparents completely understood.
Sometimes you can be surprised by just saying what it is your family needs.
I’ve had several people comment asking me “Aren’t you so sad that you won’t be with your grandson for Christmas?”
Well – first of all, I have to check myself. “Should I be sad? Why aren’t I sad?”
Mostly I’m so totally grateful that I just got to spend a memorable week with Theo and his parents for Thanksgiving. And we played and played and I got to soak up every facet of his day to day life.
And I loved it. And I carry it with me.
But now I know it’s Theo’s other grandparents’ time to do the same. And I know they are as excited as I am to be with him. And how lucky is this little boy to have such a circle of love and security with family and friends in his life.
I’m thrilled to be a part of Theo’s circle – going round and round – loving, sharing, included – even when I’m not there.
May you embrace your family’s circle of love and security in the holidays ahead.