Well……it’s official (apparently)! I am now a Nanny for the fourth time! I heard via text message from another member of my family that my son and daughter-in-law had a baby boy yesterday (my first grandson). That’s all I know – I don’t even know his name. I long to see him but I know this is nigh on impossible given my family situation. Do I feel happy that this new little life has been given into God’s kingdom? Yes. But, how can I be happy when I know I will see as much of this little one as I do of my other grandchildren? He will not know me, just as ‘the girls’ don’t know me and that breaks my heart.
I hear other people my sort of age talking about their grandchildren and how they come and visit with the sons or daughters they have. But not me, and it’s hard to hear sometimes, hard to listen because it is so painful. So, I smile sweetly and say “how lovely for you” and I mean it genuinely – I am happy for them but the pain I feel inside is heart-wrenching and continues to gnaw away at me because I know it will never be that way for me. I am the invisible Nanny, the non-existent one, “the Nanny we don’t talk about because she is a bit funny, (she has mental health problems and has a disability – you know how it is”).
I am deemed as useless as I cannot babysit, go upstairs to admire the gerbils, get down on the floor and play, chase them round the living room etc. What use I am to them? I write in the sky amongst the clouds, “Dear Son/Daughter, I love you – I have always loved you and I want to love my grandchildren and be part of their lives. I can still cuddle them, read them stories and be a positive influence in their lives. I am not mad or stupid. I am not a danger to my grandchildren. I love them and just want the opportunity to get to know them and for them to get to know me. My heart aches with my longing to see them. Is there no hope? Why, please tell me? Why?” Unsent letters, as writing would alienate them further so they remain in the clouds.
I keep journals though; love journals, one for each child where I write what I was thinking about today to do with them. I don’t write anything negative about anyone, especially my son or daughter.
If only…..Life is full of ‘if onlys’. Not just my life but the lives of many others for different reasons. We can but dream sometimes and we have to settle for that and be content, but easy, it is not! My heart is breaking I have to hang on to hope. Hope that one day when they are grown, they will and come and search me out and discover for themselves that I’m not what my son/daughter portray me to be.
“Dear Grandchild, I love you so much. I have always loved you from the minute you were born. I will always be here for you, waiting for you, waiting for the ‘if only’ to come true”.
Make a wish…..