I’m going to be a grandma for the first time in June! My daughter is having a little boy and I’ve been more than a little excited since the first moment I heard the news (which was about two days after she knew she was pregnant). She and her husband are going to make great parents and I’m fortunate that they are not that far away so I’ll be able to see them fairly often (I hope).
I’ve thought a lot about this new baby entering into our family. I day-dream about babysitting and playing with him. I want to go to their home for his birthday parties, attend his school functions…all the things grandparents love to do. Then there’s this part of me that thinks about the reality of my ability to do that. I expect I can babysit here just fine but Lynn can’t get into their house so I couldn’t go to his birthday parties unless they were somewhere accessible or Lynn didn’t go. I also wonder as I look ahead, when the little guy actually starts school, what shape will Lynn be in by then. That’s five years away. Thinking back five years ago, Lynn was still working and totally independent. What if the next five years has the same decline of the past five? ….I can’t even go there.
So instead, I’m going to think positively. I know that there will be grandma time. I also know that Lynn wants some grandpa time so we’re thinking about getting him one of those things you strap on to hold the baby so he can safely cuddle him, too. Oh, probably he could not tolerate much time actually holding or playing with the baby but we’ll find a way for him to participate. I already have visions of the two of them racing down the hallway in Lynn’s powerchair!
That’s not our only life change coming up. Lynn’s son is getting married in November! Our kids are all great at finding ways to include Lynn so he can fully be a part of their lives. For instance, Lynn had secretly hoped that his son would ask him to be his best man but he was not going to say anything about it to him because he didn’t want to put any pressure on him. It’s their wedding and we want them to celebrate as they see fit. But he didn’t need to worry, he’s going to be the best man. We’ve been laughing about me getting him dressed in a tux and this should be something to see. Maybe a youtube moment that would go viral?
The wedding is at 2 pm, early enough that hopefully Lynn won’t have gotten worn out by then and late enough for me to make sure he’s had all his essential daily activities completed in plenty of time. The other factor is the rehearsal dinner…you know the groom’s family does that. My concern, though not shared with them, was that between the rehearsal and the dinner, Lynn would become so worn out that he would be barely able to function the next day. Well, they solved that problem for us. We’re having a rehearsal luncheon instead. Everyone will come to our house, I’ll fix something we can serve buffet style and that can be fixed in advance and when he gets tired, he can rest. I’m hoping he can do the lunch thing, ly down for a while and then go to rehearsal, come home and rest for the remainder of the night and be refreshed for the wedding.
So we have major life changes happening in our family. I’m excited about them all but as is true for anything, it has it challenges. When a family member has MS, special consideration and long-range planning is needed. You hear the news, get excited, and then at almost the same time, start thinking about what changes will be needed so that the MS won’t get in the way. The important thing is to make sure it doesn’t stop you or anyone else in the family from participating and enjoying the new events. It would be easier in some ways to just “sit this one out” but we intend to keep our lives as normal as possible and to participate in whatever we can whenever we can… and so far it’s working.
I hope the same is working for you and yours.