Dear Kids and Dear Future Self,
We didn’t really luck out so much in the grandparent department. My mother died when my mothering adventure was just beginning. I feel that loss all the time, but also for your sake. I believe she would have enjoyed being a grandmother. I’m not sure, of course, and I refuse to look at things through rose-colored glasses. But it sometimes makes me sad to think of all the things that could have been, had she lived. Trips with her, visits with her, different activities, going to California to visit her, or wherever she ended up living. When Son was born she indicated wanting to move to be a little closer to us, either simply to the east coast, or back to Germany. Who knows what she would have decided.
It’s painful to think about for me. The loss of a whole set of experiences that could have been.
As such, you have one grandmother in Canada and one grandfather in California. I feel blessed to have them, my mother-in-law and my father, but they aren’t very present in our lives. Your grandmother due to family politics, which you will learn about in due time, and your grandfather simply because of distance and finance, but also not a whole lot of initiative. In France, grandparents are present everywhere, at least it seems that way to me. They keep kids on Wednesday afternoons and during the numerous school holidays. I feel a whole lot of envy about this and wish I could offer you the same experience (although I’m not so sure I’d be so happy with a French mother-in-law, but perhaps that’s another post).
I often think about being a grandmother someday. Who even knows if that is in the cards. Who knows if you will decide to have kids, or if I will be around to know them, or if I will make an early departure the way my mother did. I just hope that I will remember what it was like to have small children, and that I will offer up my help accordingly. I hope to keep my grandchildren one day a week, and pick them up from school once or twice a week, and be available to keep them on strike days and for a week during school holidays. I hope to have a place, maybe in the country, to keep them, or maybe in Paris, so as to be able to visit Paris with them. I hope I’ll enjoy good health to be able to do this, and I hope I won’t become too selfish and take the attitude of, I raised my children during long years and I have no more obligation. Not that I think your grandparents necessarily have this attitude, but I hope I remember to take more initiative than they do.
This is all dependent of course on many factors, but let this be a reminder to myself in the future, should I be so blessed…