A crystal ball would have been nice back then. Back when I couldn’t see past my own drama into my future. If I had caught even a glimpse of the joy I feel reading stories to my grandchildren every night, watching their excitement waiting on the ice cream man to make his way down the street, I would have worked til I dropped and saved every penny. Then when I was 50 I would retire and settle into a life of writing full-time to fund the many excursions and experiences I would have with my grandchildren.
But *sigh* it’s not to be. So, here I am 50 years old, fortunate to have three of my six
grandchildren living with me but unable to give them all of my time because of my work to pay the bills and my writing work to fulfill my dreams.
Thank goodness for 12-hour hospital shifts. I’m able to get in a full work-week and then have four nights off to spend with them and write. It’s easier now than it was during the school year. They would get home so late then that sometimes we’d have to post-pone story time. But it’s summer now and on my nights off we always have story time for me to read to them (three girls: ages 7,5, and 15 months) or for my seven-year-old to read to us.
Because I’ve got so little time with them even though they are living here, I’ve learned
to organize my time better so that I can give them my undivided attention. I run in the mornings then come home and get in some writing and email time before I turn my time over to them on the nights I don’t have to work.
Summertime is fun time, but I still like to start off our time together with school time. In the Fall, my eldest granddaughter will enter first grade while her sister starts kindergarten. I don’t want them to get lost in the school system so we practice what they will be getting during the school year. Then it’s fun time.
My initial plan before summer started was to enroll them into day camps where they could spend their days with other children. But alas, my finances frowned at that. So their summertime experience is home-based.
The other day they tried their hand at painting by numbers. At first, I thought my five-
year-old was going to have a difficult time with it even though she knows all of her numbers, colors and letters. I gave them instruction and then let them take over. I was impressed. Angel’s (7-year-old) patience with painting the more intricate parts was inspiring. I decided then and there to buy her an art set and let her explore.
This week I’ll buy them rollerskates and then supportive sneakers so that they can start running with me. They’re excited and can’t wait!
We haven’t taken any day trips yet but I’ve got a few ideas in mind.
We’re definitely going to the National Aquarium and then there’s the Maryland Science Science Center where they have never been. I’m thinking about the zoo, but as a new vegan, I’m still debating that one. I don’t want to be a hypocrite, but then again learning is a double-edged sword – what to do and what not to do. We’ll see. The Walters Art Gallery is definitely on our list too and of perhaps the Pirate Ship in the Harbor.
All in all, we’ll get to spend a lot of quality time together. I’m thankful for that, my job to pay for what I want them to have and that I’m healthy and fit enough to have fun with them.
But I can’t help dreaming that I could give all of my time to them.