Is everything going according to the grand plan for you? Smooth sailing? Just you and your perfect family and your perfect job.
No upsets. No unwelcome surprises. No lunacy. Just on track and happy all the time.
What? No? Well, me neither. IT’S CRAZY UP IN HERE!
As many of you know, two years ago my adult daughter moved back home along with her baby, my grandson. I’d never imagined my children leaving the nest and then returning. And I certainly never imagined one returning with a baby in tow.
Fast forward to today and she’s still living with us, along with the first baby who’s now 3 ½ and a second baby who’s 10 months old. That’s right, a second little guy. Uh huh.
Did I mention I also have a son who still lives at home?
So, now we have four adults and two small children living pretty much on top of each other in our lovely but small house. Add two large dogs, three cats, a fish, and five chickens and you have utter chaos on a daily basis.
Picture mornings with a toddler up at sunrise ready to play at full steam, running outside to let the chickens out, going back and forth through the sprinkler, playing in the mud puddle … needing a bath before 7 am.
Picture a baby who’s just beginning to walk, getting into everything, climbing cabinets … eating cat food if he can get to it.
Animals everywhere you look, coffee brewing, breakfast scrambling, adults getting ready for work. It’s a circus for sure.
Now I’m a rather precise person who likes neatness and order and quiet.
You might imagine, there are times – many times – that walking into the house at the end of the day and finding toys strewn about, a full day’s dishes overflowing the sink, animals running around all over the place waiting to be fed, and a toddler and baby clamoring for Nana’s attention would be a bit stressful. And you’d be right.
It’s VERY stressful.
There are times I just want to turn around and walk back out that door and not return until it’s dark and everyone’s in bed asleep.
My partner and pal, Denise, knew what I’m going through, so she sent me a different kind of present for my birthday this year.
It’s a distressed wooden box with the words Relax and Accept the Crazy chiseled into it.
Yeah, it’s humorous, but you know what? There’s really nothing else you can do.
When those feelings of overwhelm and loss of control arise, I remind myself how very blessed I am to be part of my grandchildren’s lives in a way that many American grandparents aren’t.
I get to co-parent, to help raise those babies. I also get to see those first steps taken, the first words spoken, to kiss boo-boos, to read bedtime stories, to play hide and seek, and give evening baths.
Rather than get all uptight with the mess and noise, I’m choosing to relax and accept the crazy.
I know the chaos won’t last forever … but the memories will.