4 May 2020
Last week, as I was going for a walk with my grandson in his stroller and the dog doing her usual rhythmic gymnastics routine she does when I’m trying to negotiate a stroller and a dog, an elderly woman walking in the opposite direction to us gave me ‘the look’, and told me “You’re a lucky grandma”.
The look could be interpreted a number of ways, of course. Facts have no connection to my interpretation of this, as per usual.
Was she the sort of grandma who hasn’t been able to see or cuddle her grandchildren for the pandemic duration? That was my theory, so my response was a suitably contrite “Yes, I definitely am”.
(Or maybe she was commenting on the obvious cuteness of my grandchild? Maybe hers are a bit iffy, and she’s jealous of someone who got lucky having a grandchild that you’re happy to display in public 😊)
It did get me thinking about grandparents and pandemics, though. I did hear, back BP (before pandemic), from a couple of grandparents who were doing the gritted teeth “we will be having the grandchildren a lot over the school holidays….. again” routine. They were aware that the initial joys that come with loading up grandchildren and a months worth of snacks and drinks to go to the zoo for the day, will get a little strained by the end of the school holidays.
These grandparents not only did not get to babysit over the school holidays, they didn’t get to see those grandkids at all….
And I was chatting with another dog walker who was lamenting that her only grandchild at 7months was on the other side of the country and she could not visit due to travel restrictions and her essential work as a nurse.
But I am lucky. I know this. I had a pre-existing regular gig looking after my grandson for a day or two a week, I’m in a healthy enough and young(ish) enough state that I didn’t need to ‘be protected’, so I continued to be able to spend time with the best grandchild in the world*.
Others are not so lucky.
Everywhere you look nowadays, you see people who are not as lucky as you, in one way or another. There are people who have lost their jobs, people whose jobs have changed dramatically, people who have compromised immunity, people who have lost a family member, people who are genuinely struggling with the thought that this could be a factor in our lives for a long time to come yet.
If you aren’t one of these people, do you consider yourself lucky?
I am a lucky person. My husband has a steady job that he is able to continue to do currently from the family home. My children are managing with the restrictions and changes to their work lives. My extended family are able to maintain communication and navigate through life’s ups and downs, and express freely to each other their emotions. I have a dog who loves me, even if she does try my patience with the rhythmic gymnastics routine. I have a grandson who I’m not totally confident loves my fridge and pantry as much as he loves me, but I’m ok with that. I have friends I can talk frequently to, or talk infrequently to, with no change to the relationships.
We haven’t been untouched by issues over the past few months, but I still consider myself lucky.
Are you lucky?