My husband and I are incredibly lucky people.
- We have each other
- We have (for the most part) our health
- We have two beautiful, healthy children
- We have our extended family
- We have our friends
I’d like to draw your attention to #4.
My parents live close by. Not within walking distance, but close by nonetheless. For that I am incredibly grateful. My husband and I have often talked about moving out of the city. But our decision to stay where we are hinges heavily on proximity to my parents.
In part, that is due to the help they provide when my husband and I have things to do without the kids. My parents step in and look after my daughter and son, and my husband and I don’t worry because, hey, they raised me without breaking me, so we’re pretty sure they can handle their grandkids.
But more recently, it was brought to my attention by my four-year-old daughter why I really wouldn’t consider moving away (unless there was no other option). She said to me, “Mommy, when I grow up and have my own house, I’m going to live close enough to Nanny’s house so that I can walk there.”
That’s it in a nutshell. Yes, my parents are super helpful. (It really does take a village to raise a child.) But more than that, they are there for my children. My children have regular, almost daily interaction with their maternal grandparents.
Sadly, my husband’s parents aren’t quite so close. They live in Newfoundland. But since becoming grandparents, they have travelled to Ontario every winter to spend time with their grandkids (and their kids ). For this, I am incredibly grateful.
When they are here, we have not only the help of two sets of parents, but we have almost daily interaction with them that, as a family, we need and crave.
Circumstances don’t always allow families to be geographically close. I often think of other families who don’t have this privilege that, on occasion, I take for granted. I wonder how they do it, not just logistically, but how do they cope with the heartache that comes from being separated from loved ones.
I may have the strength within in me to cope, but I hope I never have to find out.
A great big THANK YOU to all the grandparents out there who, whether near or far, are there for their children and their grandchildren. We need you. We love you.
“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”