We’ve reached that phase where life starts to come full circle. Whereas you used to take your children to your parents for baby-sitting now they bring their children to you. And just like you did, they give you instructions on how to care for your grandbabies. It doesn’t matter than you managed to raise them pretty darn good, their way is the formula you must follow now, or at least until your children are out of earshot!
The first time we watched our granddaughter, my step-son gave us very clear instructions. We were to hold her on our shoulder and walk continuously as this is what she preferred. If on the off-chance she fell asleep, we could sit, but under no circumstances were we to allow her to see or hear the TV. (Boy, did she have them trained!)
We willingly obliged, right up until their car pulled out of the driveway. Then we sat, talked and cooed to this wondrous little doll until she fell asleep in Papa’s lap. At that point we turned on the TV, relaxed and watched. Naturally, as soon as we heard the doorbell ring, signaling her parents return, we shut off the TV, arranged that precious bundle on a shoulder, walking to the front door as if we’d been walking for hours.
Another sign of life’s circles is to us the tougher one. The caring for aging parents. I helped care for my Dad for 7 years before he passed. This journey is at time frustrating and unwelcome, other times it’s laughter and joy. At all times, for us, it is an act of love. Caring for aging parents can seem like a labyrinth for which there is no exit and a new surprise at every turn.
Often, there is anger from your parent because the tables are turned, they start to feel like the child and you the parent. It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to understand why this is so difficult for them. If there is a defined illness or pain, they become irritated with new regimes and medications. Your parents feel the lack control and they have to idea how to get it back. There might be a loss of activities with their contemporaries, making them feel isolated and confined. If their journey includes dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory or cognitive loss of any kind, they may not understand what’s truly going on.
Coming from that perspective helped me to better understand my Dad’s disposition and make an effort to focus on laughter and helping him take part in those things he could still enjoy. Being surrounded by his family made him the happiest.
All in all, being on this side of the circle (yes, the older side, haha!) is one of the most rewarding parts of your family life, helping you to see your parents in a joyful new light, having your children as friends and allowing you to spoil your grandchildren. Actually, there’s no reason you can’t also spoil your parent at this time, I know mine certainly deserved it.
How do you or your family deal with this new aspect of life? Let us know in the comments, you may help someone else gain new perspective.
Here’s to a Happy Life! 🍻