When we first had our own children I always imagined that when they grew up and fledged from our nest my wife and I would find more time for ourselves – time to explore, time to garden, time to relax – but just as we got to that point we found that our own parents needed more love, care and attention and we continued to do what we needed to do. Sadly, we don’t have our parents for ever so surely there must be a time when life assumes a gentler pace … mustn’t there?
One by one our parents left this mortal coil, God bless them all, and I retired … again we looked forward to the next chapter of our own lives – time for extended holidays, time for extended lunches over a glass of wine … and time to sit and appreciate the beautiful countryside in which we live – well that was the plan. But it never did happen; I don’t suppose it was ever intended to.
Just as we thought we had everything in control … the grandchildren started to arrive! First, the twins then, just two weeks later, another grandson appeared: another 18 months after that and our first granddaughter is now due in just 4 weeks time.
The first three!
Our two daughters, with our 4¾ grandchildren, live at different ends of the country resulting in what appears, at first sight, to be very different demands. The one living close to us calls on us for baby sitting, emergency nursery pick-up and play days but we also make an effort to visit our daughter in London once a month in order to keep up with the development of the twins and our youngest grandson. Each visit lasts, on average, 3 or 4 days – days during which we are called on for baby sitting, emergency nursery pick-up and play days … but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
The spare time that we yearned for when we were young never has seemed to materialise but, with hind sight, we wouldn’t have it any other way. There will be plenty of time to sit still when our bodies begin to creak and crumble so for now, we are more than happy spending time creating the memories that will sustain us later!