“Nana home….sad.” These words from my 23-month-old granddaughter pretty much sum it up. About a week ago Woody and I returned from a wonderful 10 days in Dublin, visiting our daughter Erika and her husband Richie and their daughter Gabriella.
It was an almost magical time. We read books, ran on the green, had tea parties and danced the Hokey-Pokey in the sunroom, explored Ikea’s play areas, discovered pumpkins, rode the train, bounced in leaf piles, and just generally had a fabulous fun time.
But then we came home. Not only did we come home, but I came home sick. Sicker, actually, than I’ve been in a long time. My usual post-Dublin daze turned into a complete blur. It wasn’t until the wonder of antibiotics kicked in that I began to make my way out of the fog. Going directly from “Planet Nana” to Planet Sick” is not much fun at all, let me tell you!
But it made me wonder again and again, “What do Mommies do when they get this sick?” Do mamas get sick days? Hmm. I think we all know the answer to that.
I’m not sure I can actually remember feeling quite so sick when my kids were young. Maybe God’s granted a blissful forgetting. But I kept thinking of all of you mommies out there. I found myself hoping and praying that for any of you who find yourself on “Planet Sick,” there is a Mama nearby (your own or borrowed—maybe your Titus 2 leader if you’re in Mom to Mom) who will step in and lend a hand, make a meal, watch the kids, or do whatever she can to ease your load.
If you are one of those moms whose kids are now on their own, I hope you’ll be alert to the moms around you who could use a hand in times like this.
I learned another little lesson in the midst of last week’s fog. Memories can be powerful medicine when you’re sick. Or when you’re just a sad Nana, wishing you were back in Dublin reading bedtime books with Gabriella. If you ever need a dose of joy—truly abandoned joy—try hanging out with a 23-month-old—or even looking at pictures you brought home with you.
Gratitude helps, too. When I miss my grandkids (which is often!) I am reminded how very grateful I am to have five beautiful, healthy grandchildren. Counting these blessings can turn “sad Nana” into “glad Nana.”
All things considered, though, I’d rather be back in Dublin.