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Grandmother Wisdom: Watch Out for Little Pac-Man Joy Eaters!

I am beginning to look at grand parenting the same as a doctor on call…you just never know when the emergency is going to hit.  Calls have come in during work…lunches with friends…just as I settled in for quiet and a favorite movie….and then, last Tuesday at 2 A.M…

grandmother, grandchildren, holiday celebration, emergency room, midlife, midlife women

Tuesday began as Tuesdays have since July with a visit to the torture chamber…my weight training session.  Typically Tuesdays are “arm” days, and Thursdays “leg” days.  However, since we were taking off for the holiday, BZ, my trainer, doubled up!!  This is the first week in a long time, I was challenged to move any part of my body after the workout!

Back to 2 a.m.  My daughter called in a panic.  They were in an emergency room with my nine month old grandson and waiting to transfer to a pediatric hospital.  At that moment, the diagnosis was pneumonia in both lungs…later the virus RSV would be added to the list.  When I jumped out of bed, I realized walking was going to be a problem…pain shot through both thighs.  So, here I go off into the night…stiff…sore…and knowing my strength would be important.  Over the next two and half days, I took my turn holding a baby burning with high fever, struggling to breathe, and obviously terrified.  Not to mention, my own little girl, now a woman with a sick child, trying to hold her own….who needed my calm resolve in order not to panic.  So, I walked the sterile hallways just like a stiff, elderly woman struggling to keep eyes open with no complaints.

Monday had been planning day for a big Thanksgiving with ten guests…which never happened.

The turkey never left the refrigerator.

Celery was never chopped.

Applewood bacon not thawed.

Gravy never was whisked through with a rich, savory stock.

Rosemary never picked from outside.

Table never decorated and set. 

Expectations of the perfect meal with family were eaten just as if little Pac-men had come chopping through my house devouring a holiday I dearly love.  Yet, three days later everyone would arrive home.  The precious little one was released and a couple of my children were determined to “save Thanksgiving.”  They brought food prepared at the grocery…good wine…games to play around the kitchen table…and laughter.  Pac-men can’t eat determination, joy, or family love.  These are the sounds which resonated into the night and warmed my heart.

It is officially the season.  I suppose the plethora of holiday movies in a Pinterest world provide higher expectations for perfect events more than any other time of year.  We slave over meals and decorations and shopping and outfits.  Each twinkling light must be perfectly placed…each Christmas cookie perfectly iced…each stocking hung by the chimney with care.   However, the real joy is discovered on the faces of those we do it all for, and if they need us to make an adjustment, we should remember it is about them and not the tinsel around them.  My disappointment over Thanksgiving expectations lasted only until I saw all of my children and their spouses laughing, teasing, and enjoying one another.

Expect nothing…appreciate everything.  Not sure who said this, but there is wisdom in the thought.

Hopefully, Christmas will include the turkey dinner not made…and the ability to walk!  Yet, I know if BZ has his way…it is not going to be easy.

See you next week in The Joy Boutique!

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Thursday 5th of December 2013

Glad to hear your grandson is doing better. My granddaughter was just a little over 6 months old and it was Christmas Eve. She had a seizure type disorder and we spent Christmas at the hospital. We had a late Christmas celebration and dinner after Christmas. She is 3 and fine now but certainly reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas

Annah Elizabeth

Wednesday 4th of December 2013

"Expect nothing...appreciate everything..."

I love that. Adding it to my mantra list...

And, so happy you found joy and thanks in the un-Thanksgiving Day feast!


Wednesday 4th of December 2013

Thanks Kymberly...I am blessed to have an amazing family! They do want the Thanksgiving meal at Christmas, so I will use the bacon or would send it your way!! :) I cover the turkey with strips while roasting; lay strips on the dressing which I cook separately; and throw a couple of strips in the turkey stock I make the gravy with....I also use apples in more than one I guess that it my theme flavor for this meal! I'm hungry!! Have a great day and thanks for reading!


Tuesday 3rd of December 2013

Sounds as though your whole family pulled together to support each other and to celebrate what truly matters - being together. And if you are not using it, may I have the applewood bacon?


Wednesday 4th of December 2013

I know that feeling. I have been in a similar position more than once. Am currently helping my daughter nurse a 4 month old with a chest infection. Glad the little one is better.


Tuesday 3rd of December 2013

I am so glad that everything turned out well. We do need this little reminders at times to count our blessings, right? And I know from past experiences that nothing is more frightening than having a baby at hospital. Best wishes to you and your family.


Tuesday 3rd of December 2013

Thanks Cornelia! You are right it can be frightening...and thank goodness relief! Have a wonderful week.

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