When I flew back to Hawaii at the end of June for my grandmother's funeral I was told I would be one of the people speaking at the service. I had wrote out some memories of my Popo. There are 6 (surviving) grandchildren, I'm the oldest and the next one is 12 years younger, so as you can see there is a major gap. Thus, our memories of our Popo are drastically different. I had her to myself for so long that we did a lot together. When my cousins came along they came in a wave and she was bombarded. Anyway, we couldn't come up with something together but I was the one that was selected to write my memory and share it with all who attended. I feel like I barely scratched the surface but I shared the "best of" version, if you will. What this did was make me think. I thought a lot about my kids and my parents and if they would have the same kind of memories like I do about my Popo. I know its difficult being an ocean away but when my parents visit or we visit them I want my kids to do things with their grandparents without me. I don't want to interfere with those memories. I also know when I am around I squash a lot of things my mom wants to do with the because it may be something I would not necessarily allow.
That being said, I realized, while writing for my Popo's service that there were so many things she and I would do, or she would allow me to do that my mom never knew about until she read essay. She was surprised and it made her smile that I had these memories, they were my memories and nobody else's. I want my kids to experience that as well. Something they share with my mom and dad that is none of my business and one day, when they are adults they can share it with me and I can soak in the shock/horror/laughter what have you and they can feel like its their story to tell. Although its only been a month I have consciously made an effort not to tell my mom and dad no when it comes to things they want to do for my kids. I've decided to call this the "grandparent clause." meaning we have our house rules but when it comes to the grandparents they are exempt from our rules and are free to spoil, not spoil, indulge the kids in whatever way they want. It's their special thing! It took my grandmother to pass away for this to surface in my head. Had my mom squashed all of the little things Popo did for me I wouldn't have my stories to tell, my memories, my anecdotes. I am who I am because of that (and many other things of course) and I'm not going to stand in my kids way because I want them to experience the same thing.
spending these months home with my kids have been great. School is a month away and in some ways I have we created memories this summer. I think they have had a lot of some but I feel like I let myself down. I had so many awesome projects and activities and we did, maybe half. I didn't realize the toll that being my kids Taxi service would be so exhausting. Because so many of their classes were half day my day's were broken down in these pockets of 2-3 spans. Seems like a lot of time but it really wasn't. This was a first. Next year I will plan better and not double stack activities, that was tough. But the boys were kept busy, kept stimulated and I got to be with them. Seeing them grow over the summer has been fantastic and although the $$$ part is tough and i'm still getting used to less income it was worth it emotionally for me.