Saturday, December 19, 2009

Has living with Gramma changed our homeschooling lives

I wanted to explore the changes that have come with living with my mom and how our homeschooling has for the most part only been enriched by having Gramma live here. Especially for my youngest child, Tessa. Tessa is our third child, just turned 10. This year she had her Gramma here at home with her on her birthday and that was a special thing for Tessa. We were not able to really celebrate until late at night and Tessa made sure Gramma was included, waited to open presents until she made it from her room. Tessa had commented that Gramma never came to her birthday before, which for the most part is true and those early birthhdays that Gramma came to Tessa does not remember. But beyond the excitemenet of having a grandparent present in our lives, Tessa is being an incredible, humorous, kind, helpful pal to my mom. Tessa attends every out of the house activity that my mom goes on, she holds her door, takes her walker, gets her seatbelt ready, holds her coat, walks slowly with her, and basically is at Gramma's side the entire time. Yesterday Gramma had a doctor's appointment and she made it clear she was not thrilled to be going, so Tessa grabbed Gramma's favorite teddy bear to be with us while we drove to the doctors. I know I am very grateful to have my children home, living life in the world day in and day out with out being removed from our daily living for large chunks of the day each and every day. There is a continuity that is present from waking up each day, together, to sharing meals, doing household activities, running errands together, that flows smoothly as it always has since the children were little. So for Tessa, my mom living with us has given her opportunity to practice deep loving kindness on a day to day basis, to learn how to cook healthy foods for older people, to do hair, to care and care for another human being. Wow.

For my son, Riley, having Gramma live with us had taken some getting use too, as he is very senstive to sounds, smells, noises. Some of the day to day noises, like my mom's teeth clicking when she eats, grates on his nerves, but at almost 13 years old, he simply removes himself from the area so as to not be bothered. He is aware of my mom's eating habits, which are not very healthy and that bothers him, but it also opens up the door for meaningful conversations about nutrition, about being older, about joy and health and all of the complex things that goes into deciding what we eat. Recently, my mom was over salting her food and it bothered Riley. Turns out too much salt is causng my mom some swelling and we have now cut back her salt intake. What a huge thing to learn so very young in life. I feel I have been busy with taking care of my mom, the appointments we have to go on, plus all the costume work I recently did for the girls at theater, so I know I have not been as present for my son as he may need. I am making sure to make room in my life to keep the connection with him strong so there is no regret ever for taking my mom in to live with us. I find myself reqesting to play games with him often when I know I ahave an hour, I can dedicate that hour right now to being with you.

As for my oldest, Ashley, there does not seem to be anything different in our lives with my mom moving in, except Ashley gets to share her life, her love of the piano, her love of theater, and her girl friends with my mom. Ashley's life flows easily from activities,to friends, to school work (Ashley's attends an independant study school for highschool)and it all seems to fit in easily with my mom's schedule.

Overall, I feel my mom's presence had given our home more love, more kindness, more caring, beacuse the act of helping someone speads love and joy all around. Other than worrying the other night, I have lost no sleep with my mom here. Life is good, Gramma moving in has so far been a great addition to our lives, and we all love our new house, total bonus to having my mom here!

No comments:

Post a Comment