This new normal is an exercise in self control personified.
Grandparents have now been relegated to seeing their grandchildren via Face time or Zoom, neither of which is conducive to this Grammy’s needs.
Sure I can see my grandsons as they carry the phone around with them through their activities and I can pseudo join them in their daily routine for a short time. I applaud the technology that allows us access in these dangerous times.
However, let me say loud and clear, iphones are no substitute for smelling your grandson’s hair and hugging him until he says Grammy you’re squeezing me so hard I can’t breathe.
This quarantine, although necessary has been difficult for grandparents.
We are told by our children, “make sure you walk and stay active.” I say you can’t watch Netflix and lump all your other activities together. All multi tasking aside it’s truly difficult to relax while you’re trying to use your foot pedal bike, shove Cherry Garcia into your mouth, do a jigsaw puzzle and watch Grace and Frankie at the same time.
When this is over I will not be able to sit still and simply relax without feeling I must be doing a million different things to avoid my hardening arteries from turning to stone.
There are so many things one must not do. No news on television lest we want to hang ourselves. No cooking unless one wants to become so fat that when we are allowed out the door we will not be able to fit through the door. Nothing will feel as good as breathing the stale air in a mall, eating the greasy over-spiced food in a food court or shopping a sale.
Yet with all the things we miss in our daily routine, Grandmas need kisses and hugs and the scent of their grandchildren to stay alive.
I almost feel sorry for my grandsons because I have months to make up for. There will be retroactive hugs and kisses to secure and that will take extra time.
So what will be the response of our grandchildren?
Will they allow all that extra affection? Will they allow those long stares and proud smiles? Will they be annoyed and say, Grammy, stop staring at me?
Will there be a backlash? Will our grandchildren rebel and say no more? Will we have to live with cuddling cutbacks if we come on too strong? And how can we not come on too strong when we are let out of quarantine jail and allowed to get within hugging distance again?
We’ve had months of withdrawal. We are chomping at the bit to see those little faces we love up close and personal. Who can blame us for a little overdoing? Am I perhaps a bit melodramatic? Well staring at the damn walls and reruns of the West Wing have created more than just a little desperation here!
Hopefully our grandchildren will understand how excited we are to make up for lost time.
Okay, so I know self-control will have to be the rule of the day when I am allowed near my grandsons once more.
I shall practice restraint and time my hugs to be just short of annoying.
My staring at their adorable faces will have to be monitored and shortened although I’m afraid I won’t be able to take my eyes off them.
These are hard Grammy times and I’m feeling the burn here.
It’s more than an exercise in self-control, it’s an exercise in the pain of withdrawal from a perfectly acceptable drug—my grandchildren. I’m addicted and I’m not ashamed to speak it out loud.
I also know I’m not the only grandparent out there who is hurting. There is something about being in the company of your grandchildren that lowers blood pressure, allows one’s tired old heart to beat with a renewed sense of joy and youth, and the sheer act of smiling so hard at the sight of them takes years off one’s face.
What is one to do when separated from the most powerful youth drug on the planet? I can’t imagine I’ll have enough time to catch up on my dosage once this is over.
Grandchildren are the fountains of youth. Their smiles contain all the secrets of the universe and they are the sun to my planet.
So I must say to all grandparents, hang in there and double up on your dosage when we are allowed to return to the universe that keeps us young and excited about life. Until then please stay safe and healthy and hopeful about the future. That sense of hope and optimism is something we all can pass down to our offspring.