Generations of 'Love'

No one tells you, or really talks about how boring parenting can be.  Everyone loves to talk about all the fun stuff kids do.  It’s easy to talk about the fiery, youthful enthusiasm that makes them entertaining.  It’s fun to talk about children being silly and pretending to be animals.  There is nothing cuter than watching a 6-year-old hop around like a bunny, or a frog, but for me, it would be nice if parents would discuss the hard stuff more.

As a parent, of course I love my daughter, but sometimes child care is so, so monotonous.  Maybe I should write a song with my daughter, and of course, the title would be, Dada look at me (look at what I am doing)!

 

Daddy, Daddy, look at me!

Daddy, Daddy, look at me!

Daddy, Daddy, look at me!

 

How many times is a parents supposed to look at their child?  Especially, when you are cleaning the bathroom or chopping vegetable?  When I was a child, I am sure I was the same way, but my we lived in a small town which meant it ways for our parents to send us outside to play.  Besides, they were far to  strict to put up with chiding being irritatin

It’s interesting how the same people can simultaneously be helpful and unhelpful.  My parents struggle with extreme anxiety issues that have only been heightened by the death of my wife.  When I told my father that my wife had been diagnosed with cancer and that I was having panic attacks, his words of wisdom were, “I know it is terrible because girls who don’t have mothers don’t go to school.”  After almost 80 years of life, this is what my father comes up with.  Grief has taught me to truly have realistic expectations of everyone around me.  Some people talk big about spending time with my daughter, but they never actually will do it.  Some people will only be present in group settings so they can have a buffer between the widower and them.  Some people will come over with food, love and humour.  Some people, like my parents, cannot offer emotional support and/or life wisdom; however, they can definitely provide food and a second home for my daughter.

Even though I appreciate what my parents do for us, sometimes it feels self-serving—every grandparent wants their grandchildren to visit in the summer.  As the proverbial black sheep in a traditional family, I have never felt close to my parents, and in fact, I only started to feel appreciate AFTER the birth of my daughter.  I know they love me, but sometimes love is not enough because their anxiety issues direct their actions too much.  Their anxiety issues led them to throw away

boxes and boxes and boxes of my late wife’s things that I was saving for my daughter.  They don’t understand the notion of being a sentimental person, and, that their one and only grandchild might want to go through those boxes someday.  I understand that ANYTHING to do with death freaks them out, but, to throw out my wife’s yearbooks, clothes, art, purses, oh, and let’s not forget the enormous collection of records that were passed down to her from her father! 

I almost had a breakdown all over again when I walked into their garage and my corner was empty, except for a few phot albums.  I guess saving pictures makes sense to them, but not anything else.  All they could say was, “Look that stuff has been here for four years so you probably would never do anything with it.  And, we didn’t want to bother you and make you come all the way to the island to deal with it, and putting it into storage is a waste of money.

So, what can I really expect from my parents?  Like I said before, food and childcare are the main things that they can offer.  Most importantly, they are the onyx grandparents that my daughter has ever known and she will probably be their only grandchild.  As much as losing that stuff really, really hurts, I need to suck it up and do what is best for my daughter and my parents.  Confronting them about it gets no where.  I need to manage the pain and anger of losing my wife’s things through my wellness plan, especially the part of my wellness plan called, “heavy bag.


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