On August 18 of this year my oldest child – the one that took me 18 hours and 37 stitches to deliver, will be 26 years old.
Recently, she moved back to my parents with her beau because they just can’t make it on her salary alone. That’s okay with me, because she’s a HUGE help to my parents. My brother has four kids, all in school (barely – the youngest starts kindergarten this year). There are ball games, dance recitals, birthday parties, visitation drop offs and pickups, and a plethora of things needing to be done times four! Two boys ensures that there is a never-ending parade of sporting events to practice for and watch games. Two girls ensure that there are plenty of dance recitals, pageants, and slumber parties to keep everyone busy.
My younger brother, the father of this brood, lives on the property with my parents and has since his oldest child was born. Of course, my dad loves this because he has his grandbabies on hand all the time. It’s the way my kids grew up too and it’s wonderful.
But my parents are getting older… mom is going to be 62 this year, and dad will be 61. Their health is not excellent, Dad had a quadruple bypass 10 years ago, and they have no way of doing another one. He hasn’t been able to pass his annual stress test in years. He’s pretty much disabled.
Mom has had a heart condition since birth. When she was 50 they implanted a pacemaker because she was so tired all the time. Now, the pacemaker is doing 70% of the work for her. She works full-time as a Med/Surg nurse in a busy hospital in Greenville, TN. She works the odd shift – 3 on 4 off. Meaning she works three 12 hour days for a 40-hour paycheck. Then she get’s four days a week to do what she wants.
Having my daughter there will do several things for my parents. Firstly, it will put an extra adult in the mix for entertaining and keeping up with four young kids. Secondly, it will give my mother some much-needed companionship. She is way outnumbered in that house – with four guys around. Yes there are three girls, but one is a preteen and the other is only five. Not much for company… Kyla will be her travel buddy so she can resume her trips across the mountain to my aunt’s house. She will be her shopping buddy – allowing her to go to Wal-Mart without my father for a change. It also makes the children very, very happy! They are all so excited to have their “Aunt Kyla” home with them again.
I think Miss. Daisy (my oldest niece) missed her the most, and is the most stoked about her being back. At 12 it’s really hard to be the target of grandpa and daddy’s incessant teasing. Kyla sticks up for her, and makes a better target.
I feel like a grandmother now… as the kids age, I begin to understand how wonderful it will be to relax and take it easy. Not having to make the hard parenting calls every day. Not having to mediate sibling rivalry. Not having to wash every dish in the cabinet every day because they can’t rinse and reuse. These are the things that I look forward to each time one of my kids gets a year older. These are my dreams and aspirations… and in five short years, they will be a reality… so come on birthdays! Let’s get this moving… I’m ready for a break!!!