“Do you talk to your parents everyday?” I overheard my coworker *Jane say to another coworker *Lucy.
“I don’t, actually,” said Lucy.
“You don’t? I do!” said Jane.
“Christine, do you?” Jane asked.
“Oh don’t ask her. She has a kid. It’s a whole new level of communication,” said Lucy.
Yes, I agree that when you have a child your relationship with your parents changes. Suddenly you are arguing over too many presents and sweets—and making random phone calls so your child can tell his Mema about his day at school. But confession: I talked to my parents everyday, multiple times a day prior to giving birth to JD and I count myself lucky. I hope JD will talk to me everyday for the rest of his life. I know that I’ll want to talk to him everyday.
Talking to my parents everyday has nothing to do with needing or wanting anything. I love these people and they love me. They love JD and they are his only grandparents. My parents have always played an active role in my life and even though I’m approaching 31, I wouldn’t want it any other way. As my birthday nears and I age another year, I realize my parents too are aging. I admit I think about them not being around and I get sick to my stomach, I tear up and I feel anxious.
When I was 18 and on Spring Break from college my grandma died in front of me. I was over her house having lunch and visiting. My Poppy had passed two months to the day. Afterwards we sat on the couch so she could watch Days of Our Lives. I remember fingering though a bowl of peppermints and black licorice that was always in a bowl on the oval coffee table with gold trim. My grandma was also clipping cereal coupons for me to take back to college. And then she died. It was sudden and it was quiet. I looked out the window and then I looked back at her. Her head was back. Her eyes and mouth were open. I shook her arm and screamed in a panic. I ran to the phone and called 911. I ran back to her and blew air into her mouth. I heard the sirens as I called my mother. She was working at a bank. My father was in court. Uncle Carlo was in Mexico with friends and Uncle Bri was in high school. And I was alone. Alone with damp muddy socks on, because I ran next door to get the neighbor and the ground was wet with sloshy snow.
I watched life leave this Earth. And when JD was born, I watched how beautiful, sudden, quiet, then loud it is. The cycle is epic.
I enjoy spending time with my parents. Over the weekend my mom and I took JD to The Muppets and out for pizza. I slept over her place in Bradley Beach, NJ and we collected shells—beaches in the winter are pure bliss. On Tuesday, my Dad, his girlfriend and I took JD to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, to see the tree in Rockefeller Center and out for dinner at The Capital Grille.
I talk to my parents everyday. Grandparents are so important. Let it be an example to my son, please. Life is precious. I know. I saw it. I saw it both ways. It's black and white—there's no grey area for me.
Do you talk to your parents everyday? How is your child’s relationship with your parents? Does the absent parent’s parents participate?