There is a magnet on the refrigerator door in my mothers kitchen. It reads:
“Just when a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother!”
Whenever I visit my mother, I take a moment to stand in front of that magnet and smile to myself. Like my mother and perhaps like all other mothers out there, I secretly harbor the belief that I will not go down this path. I will only hold myself responsible for my children till they grow up and settle down. Then, I will leave them to fend their own battles and I will go out holidaying with my husband in the white sands of Hawaii. From that point on, I will never sweat about their health, wealth or prosperity.
The reality of the world is that no matter how old children become, for a parent they are always children who need constant support and guidance. As parents, we might be able to take a backseat for a while after the child gets married, but as soon as grandchildren start dotting the picture, we are needed even more than before.
The story goes the same in my household and I believe in all those households who are fortunate to have Grandparents live with them. Most evening as I am walking back for home from office, I see my Father-in-law ferrying Yog around the neighborhood on the scooter, just to keep him entertained and happy. As soon as I enter home, I greet Toyna, sitting on the dining table, finishing her homework under the watchful eye of her Grandmother. Discipline and mannerisms are key values that Toyna is being taught by her graceful Grandmother. I manage to attend late evening calls, step out for shopping, take a break with friends and in general have a life of my own because of two lovely adults who in spite of being grandparents have lovingly stepped into the shoes of parents for the Nth time. Age, exhaustion, time, or health have never stood in their way to meet the welfare of their grandchildren. I often feel bad demanding so much of their time at this age, but the smiles on their face in the presence of these notorious children, steal away the words of apology from my mouth.
Maybe I have been just born lucky, or maybe it is the way I choose to see things, but what I see around me are Grandparents working hard day and night to provide a comfortable, safe and happy future for their children and grandchildren as well. Knowing how far we need to go before we can think of ourselves as settled (leave alone the journey ahead of our children), I wonder when will the Grandparents get to spend their golden years relaxing on the beaches of Hawaii. When will their work actually get done?