Family comes first.
It's true and every time someone says it to me, I know I will be forgiven for anything that I might have to move aside for the family who -- comes first, absolutely and unequivocably, every time.
And that's fine. Because I want to help every way I can, every time I can, every opportunity I can and I juggle happily my working and social lives around the family I adore. To me, it's not just about helping my children, but getting to know my grandchildren in a real and very special way.
My grandparents lived in Melbourne and we visited every second Christmas, getting to know each other all over again for that three-week period. One of my grandmothers came to live in Brisbane when I was about 12 and some of my happiest memories were hanging out with her (and her bag full of lollies). She was known as Minnie, coming up to my arm pit in height, and I sometimes felt that I was the parent (even at 12) to this very small and fun person. She let me eat lollies, watch television during the day (not allowed at home) and stay up late. She taught me crafty stuff and gave me money to spend at the corner store.
I therefore like to share that grandparent dream with my own grandchildren (but without the lollies and the corner store).
I have realised lately that I am not alone in wishing for a personal relationship between myself and my grand chidlren. My friends share the same sentiment. And as such, any of our social get togethers are now at the mercy of our diaries, all littered with babysitting dates. Finding that spot where we are all free is a miracle indeed.
Having recently tried unsuccessfully to hook up with two old friends living at Newmarket and Dayborough, I realise that perhaps we should just bring the grand children. We may as well because that's mainly what we talk about. And instead of rustling through the diary, instead we proudly share photos from our phones and facebook sites.
We smile into the eyes of these little cherubs as we pass our modern granny brag books along. We tell each other how beautiful our grand children are (and they are). We marvel collectively at their achievements and their mistakes in equal measure. And we can't wait to see them again.