The Grands, the Great Grands and a Son

Time to finish my belated trip account to Salt Lake in February, my daughters graduation in May and other summer travel and travails.  LOL

FEBRUARY –

I’m spending time with the grand and great grands and a son right now and what a ride it’s been. I visit them from time to time but not for as long as this trip has been.  In part it is (was) because my son who lives with my grand daughter Becca (his niece), had an unusual seizure and was ill for awhile. With all that she does, he was in no position to help her with their usual routine.  Caring for him and everything else she does was really more than the poor girl could take on alone as you will see as this story progresses.

Normally, I wouldn’t have been there at all as I was scheduled to see them in a May for my other daughter, her aunt’s graduation.  More on that in the sequel.

While I’m there I see that he is on the mend.  Still weak but better.  Apparently his new medication compounded with two jobs triggered something.

After a few days, he and my granddaughter are dancing to some MTV video.

Ian an Becca

It may seem odd, but these two are like brother and sister as their ages are fairly close.  This was their form of exercise and they had a hard time keeping up with the dancers in the video.

Each morning begins with feeding 5 dogs (the three puppies are fed by mommy) followed by putting them out to do their business, yes there’s a grand total of eight!

three labsThree labs, one long hair Chihuahua and  a Pom-chi with three puppies.  The sweet dog with the grey muzzle has since passed away.

Luna

My hubby and I still have a dog and cat. Like us they are getting old but we hope they go before either of us does. For two reasons:  One: the thought of them having to be traumatized by new owners at their old age would be devastating to them. As it is we left them with a relative for a week and although they did well, they were clingy when we returned.  It would be akin to abandoning a child or putting them up for adoption. Two:  We want to travel and do other things once my hubby retires and you just can’t take them everywhere, period. At 16, Chloe doesn’t travel well anymore anyway.

THE ROUTINE:

Besides the dogs, we had the kids, well there are only two,  who have to be fed and dressed or made sure they are appropriately attired for school. Ally kept donning on her princess or ballerina clothes and combing her hair amid loud protestations was a fete in itself,  not to mention a significant amount of cajoling to even get them to leave the house. Most of that was my fault, as staying at home to be with “Grandma Jo” was their preferred choice. So, we compromised and Grandma Jo went to school for Grandparents day!

lunch-with-grandma.jpg

(BIG MISTAKE!!!  You do know that small children are petri dishes of bacteria, right? It hit me when I got home and lasted a TWO months!!)

I silently praise God that those days of hustling kids off to school are done, while at the same time, periodic moments of nostalgia with my kids would swoosh over me, remembering those days.  I am sure many a mom reminisces the good times, the hugs and story time.

THURSDAYS –

Then there are Thursdays, Becca calls it the trifecta schedule.

Off to ballet for Ally while Kash takes guitar lessons across the street. While they are in their classes, mommy runs to McDonald’s to grab “dinner” before H.O.C.K.E.Y!!!

A week into my visit, it snowed.  I leave the following Friday, so I was a bit anxious. Is it going to do it again?  I’m not used to driving in that white stuff anymore and visions of me sliding all over the highway haunt my sleep.

snow covered car

Yikes!

WORK

My grand daughter lost some days of work when Ian was ill but tonight she had a late shift, so before she leaves I want to clear the driveway for her. Kash helped for all of a minute pushing snow around before he finally sat on a drift and watched grandma do the work.  In all fairness, a shovel full of snow is quite heavy for a seven year old.

In the meantime, Becca wasn’t looking forward to work that day.  She works at a high end hotel Spa as a massage therapist.  Flights had been cancelled the previous day due to the “storm”, which meant they would be busy.  She didn’t mind busy, but she noticed her two last appointments were male and she groaned.  I immediately got the picture. She’s a beautiful girl so I wondered and asked if it happened often that she was propositioned and she said “it happens”. She is a lovely girl, so I wasn’t surprised.Becca

Unfortunately, there is still the stigma that goes with her job.  Massages at this hotel are pricey and she has served many luminaries during their stay. However, these guests on her schedule were not stars or anyone whose names she recognized. As it turns out, it generally went fine.  One gentleman asked her if she dated and she said, “No”, which may have been a veiled invite, but it was not obviously so. Thanks to all the “Me Too” media coverage of sexual harassment, it has been much better, she says.  The second client did not ask her anything so personal but was by nature just plain “obnoxious”. My granddaughter is her own person and quite forthright, only once has she had to turn a client in for misbehaving.  Apparently, he had overstepped his bounds with one of the other girls before and she was afraid to say anything.  Not Becca. Fortunately the hotel backs their staff  to the point of even banning some  very wealthy repeat customers that are discourteous to their staff.  Her co-workers are both male and female and all are treated with equal consideration.

Shortly after I left, besides me getting deathly ill, the kids too got sick.

Before graduation, Ally fell off the trampoline and broke her leg. The trampoline does have a surround netting, so it was unclear what happened.

For a child, whose bones are referred to as “green”, hers was a clean break (?) and such that it required surgery and pins placed.  It was, as you can well imagine, quite traumatic.

I asked her if she’d be getting on the trampoline again.  She said, ” next time, (I guessed that was a yes) I will remember to zip it up better”.  Apparently, she hadn’t zipped it all the way up and fell out the only spot open. She just turned 5.

To be continued…

 

 

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Friends and Lovers

Can a man and a woman be just friends, have sex with no love? I say yes to both with a caveat.

Some say it’s impossible, can’t happen…safely and maybe that’s true. My personal feeling is that yes, I can have a friendship with no sexual connection and I’ve known others who have had sexual connections with “just friends” and no emotional tie beyond that… or were they lying to me?

A loaded subject.

I have someone I consider a very dear friend whether he knows it or not. We were lovers once but are no more.   Outside of photographs, neither of us has seen one another in over 47 years and I don’t know that I’d recognize him on the street if I saw him but I really like hearing from him and reading about his exploits and I think he enjoys following mine and that’s perfectly fine.

I remember having male friendships when I was young that were strictly platonic and I had the finest time with them but most were gay.  No sex. No expectations of sex. I also had one relationship that ended in friendship after a rambunctious love affair that lasted a few weeks. It was hot. Probably one of the hottest affairs I ever had and I really liked the guy.  We parted mutually as friends. No hard feelings, no angst, no anything but a warm parting. We eventually lost track of one another.

Recently, I spoke with a young lady who had the great idea to give her spouse permission to have an affair. No, I take that back, she only gave him permission to have sex with someone else.  She set the ground rules with both parties, or so she thought, that there would be no emotional involvement between them, just sex. When more developed, she was angry that they hadn’t “followed the rules”. It wasn’t working and she just couldn’t understand why. They had fallen in love. She’s still in the equation but unhappily.  In her minds eye, it was supposed to work. (I guess if you play with a loaded gun, be sure you know how to use it or it could backfire.)

I explained to her not everyone is hard wired for sex without love. How awful is that? What makes sex grand is love.

It reminded  me of the story of a little girl I once knew who decided she would be a Jehovah’s Witness and her friends would be the people they call on when they knock on doors.  This little girl would stash each child in a closet with a scripted dialogue she gave them to repeat as she would proceed door to door “calling” on them. In the meantime they waited in this dark closet for her to get to them.

If they deviated from their given dialogue, she would tsk tsk, shove them back in the closet and have them do it over  again until they got it right.  Their dialogue would vary from slamming a door in her face, yelling at her, to being interested in “the message” she had to deliver. She was 5 years old and it was humorous then watching this child bully the neighbor kids, some of which were older than her, into doing what she wanted.

But this is not humorous and she is no longer five. The dialogue and wills of others cannot be dictated to.  I’m afraid this young lady, like the little girl will discover that love finds a way. I know she thought if he is given permission to stray then perhaps she could have a fling of her own without guilt or without giving up what she has or thinks she has. She wanted the proverbial cake and the right of eating it too.

It reminded me of when my marriage was going south how it was the guy at the desk next to me that was my sounding board for all the things that weren’t working in my marriage. My husband was paranoid, didn’t allow me to do things, he was afraid of everything and used God’s word as a weapon to neutralize everything I believed in or wanted.

It was this co-worker and friend, who I didn’t love initially who became my sanctuary and who I ran to in my sadness and took refuge in.  From that innocent beginning love grew and eventually became my partner, life mate and fortunately still friends as well. Oh yes, we don’t agree all the time, but that’s okay, we accept that and agree to disagree which means compromising sometimes. We don’t have to be right all the time and we have the freedom to relish in that at times.

As for the young lady, you might say, “what the hell was she thinking?” Sometimes, in my opinion, in an effort toward “free thinking”, we lose our souls, our sense of fair play, and most of all love. Is it okay to have multiple partners? I don’t think so. But I sampled a few to find the one that was the right fit for me and I’m done.  Maybe that’s what all this is about.

The young lady in question was 17 when she married an older man. She was suppressed and molded into developing a mindset that didn’t fit her, only she didn’t know it.  Unconsciously she’s been rebelling for some time and he has been trying to redirect her and get her back on the track he believes she needs to be on even though deep down he’s probably hoping she’ll totally derail.

The dilemma:  What now?

Her fear like mine was and is “What am I going to do? How do I support myself? What about the kids? Will his ship come in once I’m gone. Wouldn’t that be my luck! Then he’ll say, it was my fault that he never succeeded.”  All the same negative self talk I had as well. It’s a safe bet that he’ll do better if they are not together.  Why? Because perhaps his lack of success is that he’s as miserable as she has been.  Who can flourish in a negative environment?

To stay or not to stay?

She’s going to college right now and is a bit shy of her degree. Yes, it would be hard to support herself and continue with school. She may have to learn to budget and plan and…what about the kids?

Yes, there’s a lot to weigh in at, but …with a little bit of faith it’ll work out. I’m praying for her. In time, I hope she’ll figure it out.