After staying with us for about a month, ScienceGrandma is now on the plane flight back to her home. Last night was our first night without her. Below the fold, a few reflections on living with three generations under one roof.
I am happy to be returning to the master bedroom and bath, which we had given up because of accessibility issues. For the duration of her visit, we’d moved a guest bed into my home office and I’d cleared off some bookshelves for clothes. Two adults and a toddler in a single tiny bathroom gets a bit crowded, especially because of needing to keep everything out of a climbing toddler’s reach. And I’ll be thrilled to have a proper dresser back, though I’ve actually really enjoyed having a comfy place to grade papers so close at hand to my computer and desk. (In the long-term, I’d like to buy a comfy paper-grading chair for the office.)
But those creature comforts are only part of the story. I’m really going to miss having my mom around. I was incredibly busy most of the time she was here, and her mobility was pretty limited, so it’s not like we had exciting adventures or every night gab sessions, but it was nice to check in with her each day and know if she was doing fine or was in pain. As a younger woman, I once thought that I could never again manage to live with my mom, and visits home are always a bit awkward. But with this extended visit from her, in my own house, I see that it’s really been about my independence as an adult, and that my independence won’t be taken away if my mom comes to stay. For the first time, I can imagine a happy co-existence with her, should she ever be in a position of wanting to do so. So I feel like my relationship with my mom is strengthened from our time together under my roof, but even more importantly, Minnow’s relationship with SciGram is stronger than ever.
Minnow and SciGram would play, sing, and read books together in the morning as I got ready for work. When SciGram started physical therapy, it worked to keep Minnow home in the mornings until SciGram’s appointment. Minnow always wants to make sure that the important people are going to come along on any ventures away from the house, and it didn’t take long before the refrain became: “Mommy come to the store. Daddy come to the store. SciGram come to the store. PrincessPup not come to the store.” Minnow decided that she loved to eat oatmeal for breakfast, because she saw her grandma doing so. Minnow has a magnetic drawing pad, and she took great delight in asking SciGram to draw dinosaurs or other creatures, in order to erase them moments later. Then she’d want another dinosaur, … repeating the process many times over. In the evenings, Minnow wanted to play in SciGram’s room, climbing up onto the bed, bringing along books, blankets, and stuffed animals. A few evenings, Minnow, SciGram, and I lay on the big bed with the lights out, singing and telling stories until Minnow was just about asleep. Both Minnow and I learned some new songs that way (Minnow’s new favorite is unfortunate, whereas mine is much more calming), and Minnow was fascinated that some familiar songs could be sung as rounds. I’ll treasure those times watching Minnow and SciGram interact and I hope that they can have many more years of enjoying time with each other, in short visits, and maybe in extended stays.