By Lorry Myers
I left work early so I could arrive early and ease her worried mind. My daughter called months ago to check our availability to travel to Kansas and help care for our grandson while Mom was out of town. Hilary has only left her young son overnight, never longer than that. So for this extended trip, she lined up a chain of people who would pick up and drop off and pass along the diaper bag, the car seat, and the schedule.
And the baby, don’t forget the baby.
My only grandson is a curious one year old who is constantly on the move. The schedule that Ivan brings with him dictates when he sleeps, when he bathes and when he eats. His menu options and wardrobe changes and bath routine is explained in detail, leaving nothing to chance. In bold are phone numbers for doctors and hospitals and clinics and what to do in case of a fever. That’s when it hits me.
I am responsible for a life.
Even though I raised three children, I’m finding caring for my grandson is something else entirely. Looking back, I don’t know how my own babies made it to adulthood. I didn’t have a stair gate or a back facing car seat or a camera that monitors the baby’s sleep. My nursery had fluffy quilts with matching bumper pads and a dresser that wasn’t bolted to the wall. I allowed my kids to ride their bikes to the park and walk home from school and pick out their own snacks when they got home. I fed them peanut butter and let them sip soda out of a straw and apparently, put shoes on their feet much too early.
It’s a wonder my children are still alive.
Now I am responsible for a little boy who reminds me that I have forgotten the energy level of a toddler. All around me I see danger; choking hazards, broken baby teeth and a knotted forehead. My mind keeps reminding me of all the horrible, tragic things that can happen. I am a responsible adult who has experience raising healthy children to adulthood so why should caring for this child keep me up at night.
For the complete article, please seen this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.