Dear Mom and Dad,
Happiness is a four letter word: LOVE
The moment I pull into the parking lot and tow my three kids through the airport to the baggage area to claim our favorite baggage: Nana and Papa, I feel happy from the inside and out.
When I fall into Mom's arms in a hug that only a mom can give, I suddenly feel a transformation: my invisible, extra arms, the arms that help me manage my three kids, begin to dissolve. And I'm left with the two I was born with. Sometimes I don't realize how much those extra arms weigh me down, but when they are gone, I feel lighter. It's like I become a kid again and I admit, I'm so very glad you are here and so grateful for your help. Because when Mom and Dad are here, it means I have extra hands to hold my kids, extra arms to give out hugs, extra hearts to love my children and yes, your love is there for me as well.
I love watching you interact with my children. Your patience is infinite and your love is palpable. Mom will often comment on her regrets on how she raised her own children. The truth is, you did the best you could do. And that's what I hope to do with my three Lovlies. Every parent has regrets and things they wish they could and should have done differently. But that seems to be the beauty of having grandchildren; it's your one chance in life for a do-over. Mom and Dad, it's my turn to be proud. You sparkle and shine in your role as Nana and Papa!
Dad, some things never change. The look you gave my Maxwell when he was being onery was the same look you gave me 25 years ago. It's a look that can stop you in your tracks and make you think twice about being naughty (Max's look said, Really? Hitting Mommy is a bad thing to do?!). And in the next instant your eyes were shining with love and my son knew, no matter what, you still loved him. Just as I knew. That look is one I too have perfected and I bring it out when necessary. Because, oh yes, it can be necessary.
Mom, some things will always stay the same. As a child I remember rubbing your arms and thinking how they were the softest things I've ever felt. They still are. I remember your hugs being the best. Nothing has changed. I see Claire being swallowed in a Nana hug and I know she gets that same feeling.
Eternally grateful. For both of you.
Sorrow is: Missing you
As I drive away from the airport I feel the transformation. Those extra arms that disappeared for your visit begin to grow back. How else would I manage my three Sweets? While you are away, I grow up again and take on the responsibility of caring for and loving my children without the help of my Mom and Dad. My heart is heavy as we leave each other but my children fill it with love and laughter. They ease the sadness and it lightens: until we are just counting down to your next visit.
See you soon. To the moon and back.