My daughter recently emailed me the ticket confirmation for my next visit to the desert. The trip is set for the latter part of April.
I, of course, must work to contain my excitement and anticipation as I look forward to soon spending ten days with my grandsons.
I also look forward — sans the fanfare and excitement, I admit — to the days after the trip, the days when I’ve returned home and my daughter won’t be speaking to me.
Yes, when I get back from that trip, I’m sure my daughter won’t speak to me. Which will be okay, though, for I surely won’t speak to her, either.
That may seem odd, considering I have no doubt we’ll have a delightful time in April. The first few days of the visit will be spent with my daughter, son-in-law and my precious grandsons. Then I’ll have nearly a week of serving as sole caretaker of Bubby and Mac, as Megan accompanies Preston for an out-of-state conference. Then Megan and Preston will return home, and we’ll have even more time together.
That time together is precisely why my daughter and I won’t be speaking afterward.
You see, somewhere along the line of my daughter becoming “Mommy” and me becoming “Gramma,” we fell into the habit of not calling, texting, e-mailing or connecting in pretty much any way whatsoever for a few days after extended visits with one other.
We didn’t plan such a tack; it happened naturally. It’s a natural progression of the ways our roles and connection to one another have changed. And it’s been a boon to our relationship.
My daughter and I thrive on the times the miles that typically separate us geographically are erased, and we strengthen our connection with hours upon hours of real face time. We come together with much to share about our jobs, hobbies, anxieties, accomplishments, family updates and hopes for the future. And, of course, there’s always much to discuss about her children, my grandchildren — how to care for them, grow them, love them best.
We share it all, accompanied by hugs, laughs, tears, good times. Intense times that can be exhausting — in fulfilling ways. Eventually, we've filled up the nooks and crannies of our hearts and souls, the spots that often feel empty when loved ones live far away.
Then, as luck would have it, that’s usually about the time the visit is over. So we separate. And we stop talking.
The mother/daughter relationship is one of those tangled webs we unwittingly weave. The web only grows tighter, more tangled, the more time we spend together, especially when we’re used to having our own space, our own place. It takes time to untangle, to return to our separate realities.
After a few days, we'll little by little start conversing again. By text, by phone, maybe through email. Now that I have FaceTime on my iPhone, it may just even happen in a pseudo face-to-face this time.
However it happens, it happens naturally. More importantly, it happens to work — for us and for our relationship.
How often do you communicate with your children — in person, by text, by phone, etcetera?