My grandfather (dad’s dad) has lived in Germany for basically my whole life, even though he’s American – he was stationed in Germany when he met his second (and current) wife and ended up staying in Germany with her. That’s cool – it’s how it’s always been. I’ve met my grandpa about 2-3 times, only one of which I remember, when I got to actually fly to Germany to see him and his wife back in 2005, and to see Germany – it was very, very cool. I took pictures. And when I left I was very sad, his health not being what it used to be, I worried I might never see him again. My son, whose middle name is his first name, might never get to meet him. My husband might never get to meet him.
And you have to understand, my grandpa is kind of amazing – and he’s like this guy who when people know him, they love him – my aunts and uncles and my dad all have Forrest stories (that’s his name – yes really, insert Forrest Gump jokes here). It’s awesome and I’d been wracking my brain trying to find a way to fly me, my husband and son to Germany while we could. But we couldn’t. It’s expensive. Obviously.
Enter a better plan. My father is having grandpa and his wife move in with him and my dad’s wife. Grandpa will be closer to the family and have access to better health care and it’s just an all around better deal. And dh and my son will get to meet him (and vice versa). It’s awesome. I’m elated. It’s the best plan ever and I can’t wait for him to get here!
But right now my father is on a plane to fly to Germany and help grandpa pack, etc. and bring him back with him Monday night, and instead of me being excited and elated, I’m a nervous wreck. I’m worried about my father, who raised me as a single dad my whole life (you see he and I, we’re kind of a team, we always have been he and I). And I’m worried the big bad plane might get him – or any other number of things. His health isn’t the greatest either you know. And stuff happens. People get hurt or die every day. Well they can’t have my dad yet – I’m not done needing him – I’m still his little girl. And all that.
Why am I so silly though? I mean really this is a great thing. I think it’s because he. called. me. to say he was getting on the plane – I could hear it in his voice – this fatherly need to hear my voice before he boarded – not that he’d admit it – admit that something could happen or that he worried. And the thing is – I should see him more and call him more – we know that. I know that. I know now as a mother, how important children can be – and I know I’m still his child and I don’t let myself be his child often enough if that makes any sense. It eats me up sometimes worrying that I haven’t been his little girl enough when he might be needing me to me, so I try to make these gestures of trying to be, and sometimes I think it hit the right moment, and sometimes not…
I went off to college and almost never came home to see family, and almost never called. I graduated, fell in love, had a baby and got married and moved away and almost never go visit (sure once a week or so is the plan, but it often turns into once or twice a month…) And that’s fine, I’m sure. He doesn’t call me as much as he should, too, right? Life gets away from us. But I still worry. Like I’m sure he must still worry. Even in college I think I worried and tried to to better, but you know all our best efforts eventually get trumped by other best efforts, and then…
So right now, I’m just sitting here worrying. And I’ll probably continue worrying in the back of my mind, while I’m cooking dinner tongiht, while I’m trying to find the world’s best and cheapest DVD player before ours dies, while I put my son to bed tonight, and on and on until he comes home Monday night WITH my grandpa! (yay! happy dance…) Until I find something new to worry about, am I right?
Like every night I put my son to bed and worry I didn’t love him enough to day – that our day maybe wasn’t as best as it could possibly be. And maybe I wasn’t the best me I could be – that I’m lazy and spend too much time on this computer and not enough time planning Activites and Learning and Silliness, so I jump off the computer and DO those things as quickly as I can while I can… and then go back on the computer… and tell you all about them maybe? Or maybe not… And I worry I try too hard or maybe not hard enough? And then the night comes again and I worry what if I never get another chance? What if in the morning, my son is older, and he’ll never be the him he was today. Should I have tried harder? Or less? Should I have called my dad or my grandma or somebody? Should I get out more? Do I go out too much? What do we need? What don’t we need?
You see, my point, is that my brain, it never shuts up. When it should be happy, it chooses to worry about the next thing or the other million ways this thing could turn out. I am never happy in the now, but instead fretting over the future or even the past, just to add insult to injury or whatever (I’ll be back later, looking at this post, wondering if I said it the way I truly meant it – do you understand me? Did I say this right? Am I right?)
And still… will my dad be okay? Will grandpa be okay? Will we all have enough time together to love each other and have enough moments of happiness together? Will anything ever be enough? Will I provide to my own son the things I never got right as a child? Will he hate me for trying? Am I even really trying? Will the plane make it okay? Can I ever stop worrying for even just a minute? What if I do stop worrying and something TERRIBLE happens? Can I ever stop typing so I can publish this? SHOULD I publish this?