We have been so fortunate to be able to watch you develop into your own person, which brings so much joy and life into all the lives you touch. But the march of time also means the rest of us are getting older, and on the other side of the age spectrum are your grandparents.
In terms of care, the living situation, etc., your mother and I think about your grandparents a lot…almost as much as we think about yours. Do we want to live closer to them? Will they be okay on their own as they get older? How often should we try and see them each year?
I suppose it’s one of those life things where you know it’s coming, but the experience of it is something of its own. People naturally associate the birth of a baby as a celebration of life and the later stages as a closing chapter (although in many respects, it’s also a celebration of life well-lived), but conclusions tend to be more difficult to process for the human mind than the start. [To some degree, life is a series of “conclusions” throughout life although usually tied to the opening of another chapter; for example, graduation is the end of school and the start of work or more school while marriage is the end of life alone and the start of life with someone else.]
There’s a deep sense of dread and sadness thinking about the mortality of my own parents, so I find myself in a balancing act of wanting to maximize my/your/our time with them while maintaining the course we’ve charted for our own little family already. While the world is getting smaller with faster modes of transport, we’re still an ocean away from your grandparents, so we’ve been trying to figure out whether they should move to London for a while or perhaps we eventually find our way back to SoCal to be closer to them.
I don’t know where we will end up, but I do know you enjoy spending time with them, which is something I never really had the chance to do with my own grandparents. But I do want you to know it is something your mom and I talk about, and hopefully something you’ll one day think about when your mom and I get older too.