This is one of our most favorite expressions. Neither our children nor grandchildren live close by, so a visit is a great treat. In this case, it was one child and two grands. We had a lovely few days. We drove to a touristy attraction that interested everyone. We ate good food. We walked. We looked at some ancient documents, some of which were from my great-grandparents, with the aim of allocating them. We talked, awkwardly at times. We hugged. We said goodbye again. I have always had the feeling that we say goodbye more than we say hello; because I don’t want to say goodbye.
Putting two worlds together is always a challenge. We are all different people when we are in different circumstances. Try to remember when you first left home for a different environment: Whether it was college, the military, a marriage, or a job. We all become attuned to our new situation. Then your parents come to visit and you try as best you can to introduce them to your new friends and colleagues. It’s very awkward. No matter how old you are, when you are with your parents, you are a child but, when you are with your peers, you are an adult. And, when you are with your adult children, it’s difficult not to resume the role of parent.
Now we again have new identities as residents of a CCRC. There are new friends, new activities, and new roles. So just as we tried to introduce our parents (eons ago) to our new selves, we are now in the position of introducing our children to our new selves. It’s weird.
One of my neighbors also had family visitors this past weekend. She exhausted herself cooking favorite family recipes. Then together we pondered why. One of the reasons my husband and I moved to a CCRC was because cooking, along with gardening, had become a painful experience. Therefore, I do so enjoy having my kids visit but letting Brookdale do the cooking. However, I still feel some nagging guilt that I am not cooking for them; -Not fulfilling the Grandma role.
You all know what I mean.