I’m back from the North of Scotland at last, and what a busy few weeks it feels like I’ve had, although I spent the entire time travelling back and fore within a distance of 10 miles and saw no-one but immediate family the entire time I was away.
Inevitably there were the usual frantic familial ups and downs that occur when four direct generations of stubborn individuals collide in the collective pressure-cooker intensity of several cumulatively stressful situations. But in spite of having to help do my bit in defusing a few near-miss explosions I’ve found far more to make me smile than grumble about over the past month, so overall the whole full-on family experience has left me counting far more beautiful blessings than ugly grudges…
I spent most of the first two weeks of my stay one-on-one looking after my youngest grandson (aged three) while his mum was stuck in hospital awaiting the birth of his baby sister – he decided I was his pretend mummy while his real mummy was away, which was really lovely for me, if a little challenging at times. And it was with great relief to all of us that my youngest granddaughter was born safe and well by Caesarian Section six weeks early, after a truly worrying few weeks of potentially serious health issues for both mother and baby.
I then spent most of the next two weeks (once my daughter was safely home from hospital, albeit without her beautiful new baby) staying nearby with my elderly parents, in particular giving my mum a bit of a break by spending quiet quality time (while I still can) with my 82-year-old dad, who after a couple of debilitating strokes and the accompanying onset of vascular dementia seems to be in a slow an unsteady decline in life. The deterioration in his health is so sad to see but I know I’m lucky, at 55 and with six grandchildren of my own, to still have both parents alive, if not exactly well.
My beanstalk eldest grandson, who has just turned 17, has amazingly overcome his awkward teenage aversion to showing any level of emotional/physical contact with adults in authority and thankfully appears to have returned to his old huggy self. In between times I also spent some much-needed time (whenever possible) catching up with my youngest daughter and her three beautiful children – always an absolute joy for me – and with their collective help I filled my depleted hug-tank, leaving me brimming over with love.
My lovely husband travelled up from London to join me for my stay with my parents, arriving on my birthday, which was a wonderful birthday present, and my son also took time out of his busy work schedule to drive up for a flying weekend visit – so for once I had all of the people I love most in the world in (near enough) the same place at the same time – a thoroughly rare occurance in our family, and appreciated all the more for that rarity.
And as the piece de resistance, although my newborn granddaughter is still in hospital (potentially until her expected birth date in early January), now that she is doing well enough to be out of her incubator and into a regular cot, last night – the last night of my visit – I was finally able to give her a precious Nanny cuddle for the first time ever, and I thought my heart would burst with joy.
So plenty for me to smile about this week, lots of wonderful memories to store away and treasure in the years to come… ❤