Monday, 25 August 2014

Going To The Zoo

I'm sitting here listening to my daughter neegotiate with her daughter with respect to the appropriate clothing to wear to the zoo. Apparently a Princess Rapunzel dress with matching shoes will not make the cut despite furious negotiation on the part of the younger. An adventure clothing set, says Mommy, would be much more appropriate. The negotiations ended with the younger being able to wear her Rapunzel dress for five minutes before we go, just long enough for me to do some writing, since as I know, five minutes for a woman is never five minutes, even when that woman is 3 1/2 years old.

It's fun, and frustrating, to watch my daughter parent her daughter. I would do it differently; we all have different approaches and responses to parenting. The more interesting aspect of this is that parenting never ends, even with an adult child. We talked earlier this morning about some of the challenges of having children, of having to be a parent constantly. It is one of the things in life that never changes, regardless of generation. Parenting is important work, hard work.

Grandparenting, on the other hand, is much simpler. All I need to is be generous, funny and kind. When I got up this morning I had to go out to arrange my driver's test; I will do it when I get back from my road trip over the next couple of weeks. This test is required because I have handicapped controls in my truck. Since I have a degenerative disease it is required annually from now on; I suspect this will be the only one I ever take, the last one I ever take.

While explaining to my granddaughter that I had to go out, the inevitable "why" was almost immediate. I explained to her that I had to go to a doctor kind of meeting, something simpler for her to understand than a medical driver's test. She furrowed her brow into a serious look of concern until I told her I would be back soon, and then we would go to the zoo. It's difficult to explain to a child that Grandpa will only be with her for this short while, then gone.

This is another of the tragedies of ALS, that I will not see her go off to school, graduate, learn to drive, choose a college or career. I will only have these few days, then she will return to her home in BC. I will see her again at Christmas, along with my other children and grandchildren. Then, it will be done. That's just the way it is.

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