I am a sandwich generation peep in a lot of ways. I’m raising a small child, soon to be children. I had babies late, and Pea is older than I am, and our parents also had kids a bit later than the norm for their generation. Those timelines means we are sandwiched earlier than we might have been.
My father lives in a hospital. Spud’s grandparents have replaced three joints between the seven of them in the past three years. There have been significant health scares or events with all but two grandparents in the past three years, including the death of my step-father.
My mother, who is hale and healthy, now lives 6 minutes away from me. When she chose to come to New City, we had a long, frank talk. She has been caring for her mother for years through the onset of dementia and now into a twilight diminishing. My mother does not want to impose such a burden on her children as had been placed on her. She intends to remain in New City for the rest of her life, and I intend to be here indefinitely. Undoubtedly, the burden of her care and living arrangements will fall primarily to me. I am close. I am willing. I have resources. I explained that I understood this to be an integral part of the plan for her move from her rural, remote house. That when she needed help, help would be nearby. (And it won’t just be me, we have a great deal of family a heck of a lot closer here than in her previous location.)
Yesterday we got quite a lot of snow, after which we got quite a lot of ice pellets and freezing rain and rain. I had a snow day, and sent my nanny home at noon once the weather shifted from snow to “unfathomable mess”. My mother was meant to gather Spud, giving me a slightly longer workday, but this was negated by me already being home. Undeterred by circumstance or weather, she showed up early, helped me finish shoveling the driveway*, and brought with her a lasagna, a loaf of fresh baked homemade bread, an apple crisp, and a bag of dollar store goodies for Spud (stickers!).
The other half of the deal, you see, was that help would be nearby for me when I needed it too.
* I am ok to shovel if I take it slow, or if the snow is not too heavy. I got ~50% of it done during Spud’s nap, between skype meetings, but then ran out of time and needed a rest. By the time I got back to it, with my mom, the rain had made everything sodden and heavy and crunchy and awful. It was thankless, and she did the vast majority of it because Spud was having mini meltdowns and then one real tantrum over his mittens** that necessitated him going back indoors immediately.
** Spud’s hands are too big for toddler-size mittens, but his thumbs are too short for mittens that fit him, and it’s a disaster. It’s hard to do anything fun without thumbs, and he becomes understandably supremely frustrated. I have a pair of thin gloves somewhere for him, but they usually don’t cut it for our current weather conditions.