A Day in the Life of Grandma and the Unexpected.


I want to leave enough room in my heart for the unexpected

I pondered in the glow of a dimly lit early morning room, with fireplace blazing, candle burning, a mug of coffee in my hand. This poem entitled “A Permeable Life” by Carrie Newcomer seemed an appropriate poem/prayer to start this day. Hmm, I was loving the atmosphere and beginning to engage with this first line, imagining my heart as it would move through the day when, yes there is a when, my phone rang. My daughter needed my help. Her husband was in bed with a migraine headache, she needed to get to work, and would I come and get 3 kids ready for school and the babysitter.

So this idea of a permeable life, leaving room for the unexpected, came to life. A reality type of life. Of course I said yes, of course I threw on some clothes, discarded my coffee, packed a toddler seat in the car and set off to help out. Grandma to the rescue.

Yet this line kept niggling in my soul, “I want to leave enough room in my heart for the unexpected”.

And this was definitely “the unexpected” for my morning routine.

Oh the things grandmas will do. And there was no question in my heart that this was the thing I should and wanted to be able to do!

So grandma was greeted with a baby who wanted to be held, a five year old needing breakfast (of course he wanted me to cook some eggs not just set a bowl of cereal in front of him) and a two year old who decided she also wanted eggs after eating her cereal and a baby who needed a bottle and… If I wasn’t fully alert before now I was at complete attention to this permeable thing called the unexpected.

Okay grandma, leave enough room for the unexpected I whispered into my breath.

As I juggled my duties I found myself wondering how to navigate this time crunch with a baby who was supposed to take a little nap and didn’t and a two year old who needed to go potty but didn’t and a five year old who insisted on showing me a picture of the monster he had dreamed about all while he was supposed to be getting dressed and ready for kindergarten. And the two year old finally emerged dressed and ready for her day- pink slacks, purple shirt, purple tutu, gray and orange candy corn socks and pink shoes to finish her ensemble. What a beautiful sight!

Again, I was reminded of that line “I want to leave enough room in my heart for the unexpected”.

So circumstances that would normally make me feel hurried and a bit anxious felt more like moments to enjoy.

Why not?

And then there were more moments.

Five minutes to the time we were to exit the house, the baby fell asleep. Yes. Sound asleep. The five year old and the two year old s-l-o-w-l-y put on their shoes, coats and hats. We s-l-o-w-l-y gathered up back packs, boots, baby doll, mittens and lunch bag and climbed into grandma’s car. I then went back in the house and got the baby out of bed, into the car seat and buckled secure in the car.

Off we go… No we don’t.

I had to get out of the car and close the garage door, enter the house, exit the house through the front door, climb back in the car.

I told the 5 year old that we might be a little late for school and he said that would be okay as long as I walked him into the building to his classroom. He wasn’t ruffled but I was beginning to feel a bit anxious.

And then that line floated across my soul again- “I want to leave enough room in my heart for the unexpected”.

Yep. That’s what this grandma wanted to do. Three little treasures in my car. Something I didn’t expect. But what an amazing thing to leave enough room for today!

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