Labor Day Weekend is a chance to step back and take stock as our kids and grandkids make their way through various transitions. "Summer" is over. The worst of the pandemic and its quarantines is behind us and yet it lingers. Young-adult kids and grandkids are starting their school year with masks, social distancing and Covid-testing part of the daily routine. But those unpleasantries are dwarfed by this: They are back in the classroom, mixing with friends and meeting their teachers. Their parents--our older adult children--are returning to offices where their work-life is being transformed in ways that may make their personal lives easier.
Many of us more senior parents feel, as I do, like we are sitting on the sidelines watching these moments unfold. If we've retired, our transitions may be less marked. Maybe that's why I am using this weekend to sop up the signs of positive growth as my grandkids inch toward independence and my children reap the results of effective parenting. There are worries that one child is disappointed about their dorm, that another will become homesick living so far from home or that the youngest and smallest won't make friends at a new school. But I'm not their parents. I'm not involved in the quotidian work of parenting. I'm a silent observer--and if asked, a friendly consultant.
Right now, the year that gets kicked off by the fall season looks full of potential. There's a world of possibilities out there for our kids and us. With my inner Dr. Pangloss activated, I've luxuriated in a weekend of focusing on the good stuff. That's a grannie's prerogative.
painting: Au Coeur de la Vie by Baillargeon.