They may not live in our houses anymore. They may have families and responsibilities way outside our ken. But we're still their parents. And we're still their children's grandparents.We may not worry about them on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis, but there are still times when that old anxiety rises. Since we're usually called on to be the ones who serve by waiting and watching--we're not usually in a position to do anything about what's happening to them--our worry meter can start to run as soon as we smell trouble or a challenge of any kind. A friend's email spells out the complexity of the worries that can storm up in our role as parents of grown up children:
"Last weekend [my son] Marty went to the emergency room in the a.m. with chest pains. Jaycee [his wife] called me to come over and watch the kids [9 and 11 years old] as she would be in the ER with him all day while the doctors did loads of tests. I was taking the kids here and there to their activities and had such anxiety I was operating like a robot. Marty's chest pains turned out to be pleurisy--coming after a really bad chest cold which he is prone to get fairly often. The doctors were able to rule out all other possibilities and pleurisy is very treatable with, of all things, Advil. He is feeling much better now, and he and Jaycee and the kids are on their annual RV trip.
"What absolutely amazed me was how vulnerable I was. I carried the remains of that anxiety the rest of the weekend. Thank God for pills. [My husband] Dave was feeding me Elavil like I was an addict. Apparently the mother-kid thing lasts forever.
"I forgot to mention, that [my granddaughter] Alice tried out to become part of a dance company at a local dance academy where they choose kids to be part of a troupe that enters competitions and does recitals. She loves jazz and ballet and is quite good. So I took her to the tryout since Jaycee was at the ER room with Mike. She would find out the following Monday if she made it. Bottom line is, she did get in. But let me tell you, the anxiety over whether she would or not was the same as when I thought poor Marty might be having a heart attack."