the songs remain the same

My grandchildren have had quite a year…they left for the vacation of a lifetime last year on December 26th with their Mom and Dad to Disney World for eight days, but less than six weeks after they arrived home from such a magical trip, their father announced to their mother that he was no longer interested in being her husband and was no longer in love with her or their relationship, no longer interested in sharing a home with her and their children, and that he was done with the life they had been creating for just shy of ten years.  Watching your adult daughter sob inconsolably on your living room chair and mourn for the dreams she had for the family that she had created, which were now dashed, is more painful than you might imagine.  As a mother, you can only say so much, and you can only do so much, and you can only comfort so much…because you know that we all have to find our way out of the muck; sort out our thoughts our own way, on our own time, but it hurts so much to know that it is YOUR child you will watch suffer as she figures this out…

Rocking your long-legged granddaughter on your lap on your sofa while she heaves and chokes with tears and sadness because she misses her daddy is more painful than you might imagine.  Stroking the hair of your cherub blonde wonder of a granddaughter while she leans into you as tightly as she can on your couch and cries because she is sad that her mommy is crying is more painful than you might imagine.  As a nana, you can only say so much, and you can only do so much, and you can only comfort so much…because you know that children are amazingly resilient and that they will be fine soon enough, but it hurts so much to know that YOUR grandchildren are not at all fine right now…

BUT that was in the winter…and everything is different now…your daughter got set up on a blind date around Memorial Day weekend, with a boyishly handsome and very successful man who is the father of two extremely bright and adorably charming boys…and since that time the six of them have meshed and melded in a way that you never expected but have enjoyed watching.  A couple of weeks ago, on a warm November afternoon, I stood at my sliding glass door and watched the group of them; my daughter doing duck walk squats up the driveway with a body bar on her shoulders, her boyfriend riding my granddaughter’s RipStik and zig-zagging up the lane, his eldest son on my daughter’s mountain bike, his youngest son on my youngest granddaughter’s skateboard, my granddaughter on her razor scooter, and my youngest wee-one riding her bike, no longer burdened by bulky training wheels, because my boyfriend got her riding on two wheels the weekend before…and I felt so happy…a comforting warmth washed over me, watching the six of them interact…and seeing how affectionately this man looks at my daughter, and how her eyes positively sparkle every time she looks at him, and how beautifully these two little boys and two little girls have connected and the friendship and camaraderie that is developing between the four of them…and when I go next door to my daughter’s house it is not unusual to now find two dogs, four children, and two adults laughing together, playing together, and creating memories…I’m sitting here in my office, listening to Christmas music, the same playlists from last year, and thinking that all the songs remain the same, but nothing is the same, at all…

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