Most people I know have a conventional marriage. They live close to one or both sets of parents, they see their siblings and extended family regularly. They are able to drop their kids off at a friend or relatives house so they can see a movie that doesn’t involve animated rats. Maybe one with subtitles?
For a very long time, I was (am) so envious of my brother and his wife. Sometimes, they were without their children for a whole weekend! Oh the sanity of it all! I would call my mom and find out that she had the kids because my brother and his wife went to a wedding (what? An adult event? Without children? Ooh my). It’s not fair, I would cry to my husband. I want to be an adult who gets to go out for supper and NOT order a happy meal. I want to go out and NOT cut someone else’s meat or ask them for the 8 billionth time to put their knife down. How I envied their ability to be child free for a short time.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my children. Every parent knows that we need breaks from our kids. It’s in the handbook under the subtitle “sanity, how to keep it.”
My situation is different. I live in a different country than the rest of my family and my in-laws have done their fair share of child rearing, so much so, that I feel it’s unfair of us to drop our kids off at their house while we sip wine in the NapaValley. Even though I have been reassured that they want to see our children (and really enjoy it), it’s hard for me to actually take them up on their offer as often as I would take my parent’s offer. There are no doubts of the children’s welfare while with them; I am actually more concerned for my parents-in-law.
Michael’s mom is a wonderful Nana. She loves her grandbabies and could, quite literally, kiss them to death. She gives them whatever they want (like any good grandparent I’m told) and hugs them when they cry. My boys are always right, they are always good boys, and they have NEVER misbehaved in her eyes. Their papa buys them motorized things that take batteries and loves to scare the pants off of them. I’m curious as to why the boys don’t BEG to go there ALL THE TIME. Plus, there’s always a few cousins hanging around ready to play.
I don’t think Nana understands what it takes to keep the boys occupied now. Things (and by things I mean the boys) have changed. When they were babies…they were easy peasy. A little food, a dry diaper, and a nap – life was GOOD. Now? Well, when they aren’t wrestling they are rooting through my cupboards or in daddy’s shed playing with power tools. They run faster than me and things can go from bad to worse in a split second.
Last night, while watching the fireworks, I became very emotional. I felt such a longing for my homeland that tears welled up in my eyes. I wanted to be in
Canada, with my parents and family – celebrating Canada Day. I wanted to hear songs about Canada to those fireworks. I wanted to be Canadian again.
Thinking back, the tears could have been from the fireworks or it might have been Brody’s reaction to God Bless America. There was an audio montage to the fireworks and THE SONG came on. In the middle of the fireworks display, Brody stood up, passed me his light saber (a 5 dollar investment), put his hand over his heart and sang as loud as he could. He loves God Bless America. From the mountains to the prairies my son stood up and sang with a vigor I have never seen before.
I’m not sure if it was the song that inspired him – or hearing a song that he knows the words to. Would he have sang so great if it were a Garth Brooks song? It’s hard to say. I do know that he is always so surprised when he hears a song in public that he didn’t request to hear. Allow me to explain, most of his music is by request to his daddy or myself. He’ll say “I want to hear the song about the horns on the car” to which Michael will play Big and Rich. It’s all about what Brody wants to hear. There have been a few times when we’ve been playing the radio, a song will come on and Brody will say – play it again! Not realizing it was the radio and not my iPod. He really likes it when he recognizes songs he knows while we are out in public.
The realization that my children may never know the Canadian National Anthem really upset me. While my nephew and niece are learning Frerer Jacques and O Canada, my boys are learning a completely different set of standard songs. That upsets me!
He did make his daddy very proud last night. He also made his mommy homesick.