My life changed the day my Mom died. I never expected to be a mom without my mom. But if we hadn't been expecting Grant, things would have been very different for me. Because of Grant, I had to get myself out of bed every day. Even before he was born. There were things to do. A job to go to. Life. I couldn't drown myself in pity parties all day.
Then he was born. Then five months later, my Dad died. And I became what has been referred to as a "Parentless Parent". I tried reading a book about being a parentless parent (called Parentless Parents), thinking it may help with the grief (yes, I know this is not a substitute for a grief counselor) but I quickly realized this book was not for me. The author of this book was in a similar situation. She lost her mom before she had her first child and her Dad died before she'd even had her second. But this woman was very judgy on what makes a person officially parentless. And she seems to think it's ok to let yourself feel different from the people around you. And to resent your friends and family that still have one or both of their parents. She says your parents are your cheering section, the people you get to brag to because your kids may be going through things your friend's kids have already done...so your friends may not care. Huh? My real friends care about what's going on with Grant. And I care what's going on with their kids. I didn't read much of the book before it made a permanant home on my bookshelf.
The truth is, while I would obviously LOVE to have either of my parents as a part of Grant's life, I can't resent the people in my life that still have their parents. That's just not right. When we decided to become parents I always knew that I wanted to be my own kind of mom. Obviously I learned from my mom, but I wanted to learn from me too. I didn't read parenting books or articles or magazine's because I don't care how other people think I should raise my child.
So what has three years taught me? That I will always miss my parents. I always want to know if I was doing the same things that Grant is at his age. I don't know when I crawled, walked, talked. I can ask my aunt...but I want to ask my parents, you know? I can't imagine that going away.
Three years has made me less lazy. Ok, three days made me less lazy! But now there are very few "lazy days" and more play days in the park, bike rides after dinner, weekend morning walks, baseball after breakfast. And I'm more willing to explore to find fun new things for us to do. I even like the beach now (for the most part) whereas before I could really take it or leave it.
Some people are natural teachers. I am not. I'm terrible at explaining things. But having a little one makes you a teacher anyway and it makes me WANT to teach. I don't want to leave everything to school, so we at least try to teach and I love helping him learn things. Trying to write, trying to read, coloring, counting, ABC's, even learning to cook (I love that he loves to be in the kitchen and asks questions and tries to do things!).
I make mistakes. He's a little spoiled. Come on, he's our only one (AND an only grandchild too). Do I want another? Yes. Will it happen? I don't know - and that makes me sad. But so far, I think we're doing good. Nothing has been as bad as some people would make you believe. Two wasn't terrible and so far three might have a bit of an attitude at times but it's been fun watching and helping him grow into his own little person. And now I have more knowledge of monster trucks and superheros than I ever thought I would.
"A baby changes everything" how often do people tell you that, like it's a secret or some brilliant wisdom that you'd never considered before. Of course it does. If it doesn't, you're doing something wrong. It's hard. But it's so awesome.