One thing about life is that it never goes quite the way you expect it. Having turned 50 this year, my husband and I were under the impression that the bulk of our child-rearing work was done. We're at a more comfortable income place than we've been before, and we were looking forward to a summer full of weekends at Renaissance festivals, pirate invasions, and steampunk parties. The adult boys could come along or not as they pleased, and as their jobs would allow.
Oops. Suddenly ending up with custody of our 10-month old granddaughter put an end to that, right quick. We adore her, but... Yeah. Having an infant in the house again is a lot of work. Since I'm the one who works at home, guess who's the default caregiver most days? You got it. Any wonder I missed my last deadline?
Whenever people are struggling with changes to their lives--struggling to adapt, because good or bad, changes always require adaptations--caring others always as, "How are you doing?"
I honestly don't know sometimes how to answer that question. Today for instance. I've got a cold. So does everyone else in the house, including the baby. Do you mean how am I feeling? The answer to that is "Meh." It's a cold, not anything serious or debilitating. I'm not at my best, but I'm not in any imminent danger of collapse. So that's one part of how I'm doing.
I'm also behind a deadline, and having trouble finding time or energy to write. So how I'm doing in that respect is not so great. Do I resent that a little? Of course. I'm human. On the other hand, I suspect once we're fully adapted, that will sort itself out. That's what you do with changes. Sort them out. So in that respect, I'd have to say "I'm getting there, but not as quickly as I like."
How I'm doing as a caregiver? Well, to be honest, it's not ideal. It was a whole lot easier when I was thirty. I'm fine for an hour or two, but then everything starts to hurt. These all-day days are really wearing me down. Would I trade this for NOT having custody? Hell no! So again, it's a mixed bag. I'm tired, but it's worth it. Finally, how am I coping with the whole situation? Fair to middling. I want it over--the lawyers and court and bickering part. When will it be? I have no idea, other than in 17 years. Is it worth it? Hell, yes! every time I hear my granddaughter laugh.
Changes, good, bad and ugly, are what define our lives. And our responses to them help define who we are. Here's one adaptation from this weekend. Since my husband and I had to babysit Sunday, we did it our way. Here's the little one, holding onto Grandma's arm, at her first Renaissance fair. :)