Thursday, April 23, 2009

strengthening the ties that bind

We are not just leaving behind a house and plot of land and associated bills, we are leaving behind our family.  The girl and her family live next door.  The boy and his wife live nearby.  Our grandchildren have lived next door to us virtually all their lives.  Our yard is their yard, our house is their house.  There is no knocking.  If the door is unlocked, they come in.  They like to play and hang out in our yard better.  Back when we owned the house they live in, we removed all the boundary markers, moved borders of flower beds.  To separate the properties now will require some work, not to mention weaning the grandkids away from it.  Or the girl either.  This house and yard is the one she grew up in.  The boy, too, but once he moved away, he didn’t come back.

Having my family close, thus far, has been easy with no real effort required on my part.  Now that we are moving an hour’s drive away, all that is changing.  I remember when my parents moved an hour away, we hardly ever saw them after that and once past my teenage years, I wasn’t much for talking on the phone.  Life was busy.  The kids had activities and friends.  We had our shop and employees.  The summers were hot and we had no air conditioning in the car for several years.  In truth, I wasn’t close to my parents and my mother wasn’t thrilled about being a grandparent.  She loved them in her way I’m sure, she just didn’t want to have to deal with them, didn’t really like children.  She was waiting til they became teenagers, she said, but by then the kids didn’t really know her and weren’t interested.  This is not a mistake I want to make.

So, in our new life, I will have to become proactive.  I don't see the boy and d-i-l enough as it is.  We already bring the grandkids with us for weekends.  They would come every weekend if we would let them.  And now that summer is approaching, they will have a week apiece all to themselves.  I’ve never been one for a big to-do on holidays but I might have to re-think that because those kids and grandkids are the only reason I still have a toe hold in the city.


  1. Sometimes leaving behind the people whom we learned to love gives us sadness,but this is a part of life i guess,so we must accept. Most of the time kids are the one who is mostly affected by this changes.
    I don't have grandkids yet but i am sure i will also have to go through that portion in my life.
    Ellen, i appreciate so much for sharing your innerself with us,take care always.

  2. I can relate. I live 10 hours away from my first grandson. The first year I made sure I visited every six weeks so I wouldn't miss his babyhood. Now I try to see him every 2 months. It's hard, I admit. But I talk to him on the phone and my daughter keeps me updated. You'll work it out. It sounds like your grandchildren already feel at home with you. Just have them out more. (How nice it must have been living right next door!)

  3. Lolit...yes I think it will affect the grandkids more than me. For awhile anyway. They won't have their immediate refuge anymore when things get testy at home.

    Lover of Life...I have been blessed to have them so close for the last 11 years. All four of them were over here yesterday evening.


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