Ironically, this subject came up recently with some coworkers of mine. A friend of mine at work had been asked by her future SIL if she could watch their new baby while her and my friend's brother went on their honeymoon. Now, my gf works full time and has 2 kids of her own, so she is not able to use a whole week of her vacation time to do this for her future-SIL. But the surprising thing was that another woman (a grandmother) was saying how crazy it would be to even ask. Yes, I agree it IS a lot to ask of someone. And I can't even say that my sister asked me to watch Colin (not that I would have cared). She asked my parents and I jumped at the chance for this time with him. Well, I told both of these women that I have done it and would do it again. The one woman looked at me like I had 2 heads and like it was the craziest thing in the world to do. And she even stated that she would never even do this for her Grandchildren. I find that sad.
Now granted, I was newly married with no kids - so I was virtually unattached. And things are different now, as my vacation time from my part time job is scarce and it wouldn't be as easy to take off a full week from work. But…that doesn't mean I would not or that I would not do my darndest to give as much time as I could to my now 3 niece and nephews.
But that conversation left me wondering. Is my family the Norm or the Exception? I do know of other Grandmothers who are just as devoted to their Grandchildren as my Parents are (quite a few actually). But I have also seen plenty that are much less enthusiastic. I find it sad. I am glad that my girls will grow up knowing they have a 2nd home at both my parents' house AND at my Sister's.
I will say that week I had with Colin was so much fun. It was utterly exhausting and it drained me beyond belief. It gave me my first taste of motherhood (especially since he spent one day with a high fever and would do nothing but lay on me). But when he left at the end of the week to spend his last few days at my Mom and Dad's, I cried to see him go. I knew then that I was most definitely ready to have one of my own.
And in May of 2004, while I was 7 months pregnant, I again took off to watch Colin and Maddy. I think it is great to have that time with them. And again, Jerome took off some of that week as well. We both love being with them and would not have had it any other way. Now, I am a Mom of 2 and my sister has added a 3rd to the mix (Elliot is 3 weeks younger than Alysa). So that would mean 5 kids running around making things VERY chaotic. But I do hope that one day I get the chance to have all 5 of them under my roof and all to myself (well, I'll allow Jerome to join in the fun too).
So if this makes me crazy, so be it. I take great pride in the face that I am close to my niece and nephews that live 9 hours away. And that they have always known who we are. I also want my girls to have that bond with their cousins. I hope we can all nurture that for them. And considering the fact that Kayla still talks about them after seeing them last March, I would say we're off to a good start!