Monday, February 21, 2011

Playing together - Gma & QE

This was a productive day.  Last night my granddaughter Quincy came over to spend the night and today.  We mostly just watched TV and worked on the computer last night...and discussed what we wanted to do in the morning.  Today we got started pretty early (we were going by 7:30) in the "studio".  We are both members of an online art community called Paper Traders, and we were doing some of the group projects.  Today we worked on the Encaustic Beeswax ATC swap. We had a ball, made a mess, and Finished our cards!  Then Quincy finished up her Fashionista canvases while I did the scanning so we could get them uploaded.  Hers are on her blog already but I still have some finishing touches I want to do on mine so they are not scanned yet.  It was a good day because we got a lot done, but mostly because we enjoy being together so much.

I think there is often a special relationship between grandmothers and granddaughters.  Being a generation removed can give a grandmother a more objective view of all the little annoyances that drive mothers crazy.  My mother used to have such a good relationship with my kids.  I didn't understand it then, but I do now.

I know when my kids were growing up it sometimes sorely tried  my patience to let them "find" themselves.  You want so much for your children to succeed, for them to not be hurt, to not fail, to have friends, and of course, to not embarrass you, that sometimes you try too hard.  You hover, and advise, and caution, and criticize.  And you think you are doing it all in their best interest. You try to be their friend and sometimes it feels like you are worst enemies. Looking back I can honestly say that sometimes it really was that worry that they might do something unacceptable or embarrassing that motivated my actions even if I didn't recognize it at the time.  Sometimes we are just too close to the situation and it does become about us.

But a grandmother can see past it all.  Raising that child is not your responsibility so you are free to just love them however they are.  And I do love my grandkids.  They are the light of my life.  They add a richness that I could never have imagined.  I love spending time with them, especially one on one, and just doing mundane things.  Sometimes just sitting around watching a movie together is enough to fill my heart with joy.  Having a shared interest gives Quincy and I not only something mutual to talk about, but being able to actually do something together that we both enjoy was just an added bonus today.  Thanks Quincy for coming to spend a day with Gma.  It was great fun!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Night Owls

I was over at Boom's A Woman Distracted web space and read this post about being a night owl and blogging.  It could be about me.

For over 20 years my dear hubby traveled with his work. He would be gone for two or three weeks at a time, sometimes only home for the weekend, hardly ever for more than a week. I was a mom at home with four kids. The days were busy and hectic but the nights belonged to me. I could sew, craft, bake, and create to my heart's content - with no interruptions.

Then we moved to Wyoming and he changed careers. Home every night, and every day too at first, as he took off most of a year to build our home. I thought I would go crazy!

I would go to the store and when I got home he wanted to know what took so long, "I was worried that you had car trouble." "No, just ran into a friend and we went for a soft drink." He thought it was thoughtless of me to not let him know I was delayed.  I thought, "are you kidding, you never cared before."

Finally one day I had had it.  I blew up and blasted him with all of this and more: "I am not a child, you do not have to check up on me." "Rest assured if I had problems I do know how to use a phone." "For all these years you have been gone I had to take care of things myself, and did just fine." "I have been used to being my own boss, coming and going when and where I wished, and if you have a problem with that it is your problem, not mine. You created this situation by your career choice so now you have to live with it."  He thought I had lost it, and was confused at why I was upset. He thought he was being a concerned husband. I thought he was smothering me. Fortunately we worked it out and are still happily married all these 20+ years later.

But one point of contention still kind of bugs him...this night owl thing. He needs twice as much sleep as I do, and wants to go to bed between 9 and 10.  He thinks I should do so too. I am usually just getting started on some project about that time. I used to go to bed, lay there and listen to the every night sound, watch the light of the moon move across the room, and be frustrated because I was "supposed to be sleeping" but couldn't. Some nights I would just be getting to sleep when his alarm would go off.  Lying awake in bed does not make one sleepy, but rather more wakeful, it seems.

Finally I just decided that I could not adjust my inner clock to someone else's, so now I do what I want. If I am tired I go to bed, if not I may be up until 1 or 2 doing my own thing. He gets more rest, I can actually go to sleep when I do go to bed, and things are much better... and his old complaint that he doesn't sleep well when I am not there has been proven not to be true. It was just a matter of getting used to it.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because as I have gotten older, I have had so many friends with the exact same problem.  And, it is often a point of contention in their homes.  As their husbands age they seem to want more sleep and as the women age they seem to need less and less - or at least in long stretches.  Many of them find that a twenty minute nap in the afternoon seems to do wonders to refresh them if they are lagging.  Is this abnormal, as our husbands say?  Are we all sleep deprived as they think?  Or is is just a part of aging that people who tend to be night owls become more so as they get older?  I don't know, but I do know that lying in bed for hours and hours without going to sleep in not productive, nor does it contribute to a happy home.  Staying up until I am tired, then going to bed and sleeping well until I wake up naturally (usually around 6 or 6:30 AM) works for me.  And I know that my mother was the same way.  She would go to bed, but was often still awake reading at 1 or 2 in the morning.  Maybe it is hereditary!

Turning Hearts

Tonight I was reading Boom's blog and she was telling about her dad being the tooth fairy.  It was a sweet story and I was touched.  I have been wanting to do this. I was so inspired by the stories that Lyndy has been posting on her facebook page that my heart has been turned to my parents and grandparents and then to my children and grandchildren.  So I want be doing this - Writing stories that will keep long after I am gone. Stories that will connect the coming generations with those that went before, turning hearts, so to speak. Thanks, Lyndy and Boom for the inspiration. Because of you two I did it.  Tonight I started a second blog just for this purpose so I won't have to sort my art from my musings.

Hopefully over the next months and years I can create a record here that will be of benefit to the next generation.  My paternal grandmother died when I was 3 years old.  I don't remember her very well at all.  Just a few occasions and happenings.  I want my grandchildren to know and remember me when I am gone.  I want my children to know and remember their grandparents.  I want to find out more about my ancestors and post those things here too.  I hope this will be a grand adventure taking me on a journey to wherever the stories lead.  Helping those that went before become real to those who are yet to come.  Turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers.