December 10, 2013

We’re not the Griswolds anymore

A few years ago, my daughter wanted to cook the turkey for Thanksgiving.  Hey, I was all for that!  And…it turned out great!  And, just like that, the torch was passed.  We still had the dinner at our house each year, until this year.  With a new baby, it just seemed like a good idea to have it at her house.

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Not that new….He’s over a year old!!  Big Boy.

She cooked and cooked.  I brought “my” dish, sweet potato casserole. And, we gathered.  It was wonderful.  The food was amazing.  She is such a good cook.  Her table was fabulous.  Lovely.

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She thought of everything!  She rented the movie Christmas Vacation.  It was our family tradtion, she said.  We just had it playing in the background, watching the funniest scenes.  If you haven’t seen this movie, you should.  It’s hilarious!  The Dad is crazy and funny, always doing idiotic things.  He was about to turn on the Christmas lights, an overwhelming display that kept failing, much to his chagrin.  The whole family came out on the lawn to witness his glory.

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I noticed the family unit.  Mom, Dad, kids, grandparents, great grandparents.  “We” were always the little family.  Just like the Griwolds.

The Griswold Family Christmas Portrait

Year after year, as we watched this movie.  We identified with the family.  “We” were the parents.  My husband is a crazy, funny guy too.  “We” were the ones driving the car.  “We” were the ones with kids in the backseat.

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As I watched the Griswold family gather on the lawn to watch the lighting of the house.  I realized that “we” are not the Griswolds anymore.  In that moment, it was a shock to me.  We are the visiting grandparents.  How could this be?  The change is gradual.  One kid grows up and moves out.  Another.  And, another.  Then they are all gone.

I don’t mind this life.  I actually love it.  I loved raising kids. And, now I enjoy the “quiet” life.  But, I hadn’t realized the shift that has so completely taken place.  “We” are now the visiting grandparents.  What?  Really?  Are “we” now the OLD people?   Say it isn’t so.

I mentioned my discovery as it was playing out.  My daughter told me that it’s true.  We aren’t the Griswolds anymore.  “They” are!  She looked at the TV and asked me which grandma I was.  I told her that I was the one with makeup, jewelry and a fur coat, OF COURSE!

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Life seems to be on fast forward with each passing year.  I want to say that I am in the middle of my life.  That will only be true if I live to be one hundred and eight!  I look at young people and I know that one day they will be old people.  I look at old people and think about how they were when they were young.  I find my self saying, “in our day” and terms like that.  I see how different the “kids” do things now.  And, I use the word “kids” for anyone under 40!

I’m not alone.  Most of my friends are Grandmas too.  We talk about our precious little grandchildren.  It’s a good place to be.  I’m content.

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