Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Little Gratitude for Mom



I don't know what I'd do without my mom.

That thought popped into my head yesterday as I eased to a stop at a red light on my way to her place. I was picking up Jared, my teenage son, who walks to his grandmother's after track practice. If it weren't for my mom, I'm not really sure what we would have done about the crazy busy schedule of high school sports that I wasn't really prepared for.

I was actually the one to encourage him to sign up for cross country before the school year began. I thought it would be a good experience for him, and the coach was an old colleague of mine, who I knew was really great with kids. I hadn't really thought about the daily after-school practice that would mean missing the only bus home. His high school is too far away for him to walk home, especially alone. The only solution would have been for me to leave work early each day so that I would have enough time to pick up both him and his brother.

That would have been the only solution had my mother not moved into assisted living right across the street from the high school.

So, for the first time in my children's lives, after my older son had turned 14, I had someone I could count on to help my husband and me out with the kids.  My husband and I moved to the Sacramento area sixteen years ago, back when we were blissfully ignorant of just how hard it is to raise kids. That move put us two and a half hours away from family. We loved our new home and excitedly welcomed Jared a year after we moved and then his brother Jack four and a half years later. What we quickly found out, however, is it is tough not having family to help you out. There were few "date nights" and when one of the kids was sick, there was always a mad scramble to figure which of us would take the day off to care for our child. There was no one else but us.

Of course, we managed. I sometimes thought about my siblings and how they had had Mom and Dad to provide child care whenever they needed it. How lucky they were! And how lucky their kids were, to be with their grandparents, sometimes on a daily basis, developing a close relationship with them. My kids only got to see them a few times a year. But my situation was of my own making, so I had no right to complain.

I didn't really anticipate needing child care at this point, especially for my teenage son. I'm pretty sure my mother didn't anticipate providing it when she moved here. I think my son had different ideas, though. Last January, when it was decided that his grandmother would move into the residence across the street from what would become his school in the fall, he immediately began talking about going to Grandma's house after school.

It makes me happy that at last my son has the opportunity to spend time with his grandmother on a regular basis. I think it makes her happy, too. I know moving to assisted living wasn't something she really wanted or planned on, but I hope those evenings with Jared provide a bit of a silver lining.

And hopefully she knows, I don't know what I'd do without her.

4 comments:

  1. Being away from family when you are trying to raise young ones can be especially trying in so many ways. My sister moved to Dallas with her young kids a few years ago, leaving all family behind in Wisconsin. She has experienced the trials of solo child care many times. Glad to read that your mom is able to help you out now and how lucky for your son to get to spend time with her after practice.

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    1. That must be difficult for your sister, especially being so far from home. (I'm sure you miss her, too.) Thank you for reading and commenting! :)

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  2. Lovely post.. tell her, tell her often. :)

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