Sunday, December 09, 2007

let your heart be light

We were huddled in the dark, letting the subaru stretch, when I heard Lexi whimpering.

"Things are never going to be the same. Our time with Ammy and Papa."

I sat quietly, my mind racing towards something comforting to say, something to refute the obvious. But she was right: My Grandma has moved into what was once my room, and the burden feels heavy, even to my 4th grader.

Lexi adores my parents, loves staying with them in the 'country'. She chose extracurriculum activities during the school week, just so she could spend many weekends in the fall with Ammy, sewing, baking, talking her ear off.

The first planned sleepover was halted by a phone call; my Mom in a panic, racing my Grandma to the ER.

(She spent the next two months closing my Grandma's business, living away from my Dad.)

Nothing turned out like Lexi had hoped. It's a big lesson to learn.

I didn't try to spin it, feed her some hogwash. I let her cry, grieve over the summer she had, when she was the center of my Mom's world. And then we turned to what is and we dialed the phone number I've known all my life and set up an sleepover for next week.


We had dinner with my family last night, after my nephew's fabulous superhero birthday party and a prefunct celebration of my own. (On my 32nd birthday, I witnessed my nephew come into the world. Amazing.)

My Grandma was perched, ready to spring into action, take over. She's biding her time, declawed, waiting to take over again. Like it's a bad dream.

I wish she was kinder. She isn't.
I was listening to some morose Carpenters' Christmas CD. I turned it off, enjoyed the silence. When I looked up again, it had started to snow.

The solitude was punctuated with squeals.


katydidnot said...

smart to let her have her grief. and is it your birthday?

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Nice job with the sadness & silence; it's hard to let our kids feel pain but it's a necessary lesson. So sayeth Dr. BadMom. (And I don't even watch Oprah!)

I'm willing the snow to come back in buckets tonight...

Lisa Milton said...

I wrote this quickly today - between church and another birthday party - and I came back, afraid. There was weird HTML stuff in it.

(I also deleted a sentence. Lori, if you read this, please know that our boys are part of Ammy's center of the world too, but I couldn't rewrite the sentence and make it sound good.)

Ok, enough drama.

Thank you Dr. Badmom. You rock, or course.

And my birthday is on Thursday; I'm eating a vegan pastry and seeing a movie. Big plans.

SusieJ said...

I know that empty feeling -- the wailing -- and very good post that you wrote so quickly. Susiej

Adventures in Baby Fat said...

It's so hard to let them grieve, to let the reality hit them. And very smart of you to let her. It still doesn't make it any easier.

That has to be a hard transition for all.

Happy pre-birthday!

Mrs. G. said...

I'm with bad mom on this one. Good for you for letting her just be sad. I'm always a little quick to the let-me-try-to-make-it-better punch. That gets old for all involved. Your mom must be exhausted. That's a lot of work.

Professor J said...

I'm sorry times are sad right now. You are a wise woman to let it be what it is, though.

Melanie said...

I'm sorry, and I'm sorry for your sweet girl. How nice, though, that she has that intensely close relationship with her Ammy.

lapoflux said...

Sounds like Lexi is growing up - I'm impressed that you were able to let her be sad instead of trying to fix it. Hope your mom is coping okay - taking on an elderly, sick parent is hard (from what I have seen in my family this year), and it sounds like your mom has done more giving than taking over the years in that relationship. I bet she's just as sad as Lexi about their girl time.