|Thanks for the new bike, Grammy!|
... I'm spending the summer at my mom's. Calliope will attend a local daycare a few hours a day, as I think it would be terribly hard for her to be torn away from her routine and her "social life." She needs structure and she needs little buddies to play with. It will be hard for me to provide either in MA without structured childcare.
Of course, I need structure and friends, too. I have a couple friends sort of nearby, and family scattered around, and I'm thinking about signing up for something, maybe a [prenatal?] yoga class. Not that I'm much of a yogi, but something to get me out of the house. And we will make a long weekend trip to Vermont to see a friend, and we will take a week in August to go on our second annual camping trip with another SMC and toddler.
And hopefully, having that little face and piping voice around the house will cheer my mom's spirits. She's been taking antibiotics for a possible sinus infection, and sounds totally un-foggy today. Totally like herself, absolutely with it. It's so weird to think that, in essence, she's dying. It's sort of horrible yet slightly cathartic to use that word.
I think I was in denial when my dad was dying, somehow trying to stay in the role of clinician, and his entirely predictable death came as a huge shock. I don't want to experience that again.
I don't think the summer will be fun for me, exactly, but it will be something to feel good about. And if there's any possibility of Calliope remembering her grandmother, this is the way to do it -- lots and lots of mundane time together. Not Disney vacations. Just many meals and bedtime stories and Play Doh sessions.
Right now, it doesn't sound too hard. I can drive to doctor appointments and track medications, if she starts to have trouble with memory, and grocery shop and cook and clean up. And take care of Calliope, too, of course. We've agreed that if she needs physical help with tasks like toileting and bathing, we will hire a nurse's aid, as we did when my dad was dying. She already has a cleaning lady that does laundry as well as house cleaning.
I'll have to tell my summer employer that I need to back out, but I reckon the "mother has a terminal illness" excuse won't burn any bridges.
I never imagined that I would make this choice, and I am still sort of reeling at the idea of it, but I'm surprised to find that I'm starting to embrace it, also. I never thought this middle-child-who-always-lived-the-furthest-away would make this choice. Life is full of surprises