Sunday, September 07, 2008

the highlights

the folks are now safely back at home, no doubt enjoying their microwave (it was a source of constant irritation to them that we didn't have one and moreover don't even want one), newspapers in english (we had lots of newspapers around, but all were danish), weak coffee (i constantly made it with too much sock to it in my french press), proper spatulas (for scraping the dough off the sides of the bowl--it's true ours are strangely hard and unhandy) and just generally being back in their own home again, rather than surrounded by the mysteries and frustrations of another country.

because i love lists, here are a few of the highlights:

  1. discovering that grandma can make that whistling sound with a blade of grass between her thumbs.
  2. sabin learning to hunt for 4- (and 5- and 6-) leaf clovers with grandma.
  3. walks in the autumn sunshine.
  4. a simple meal of different kinds of cheese, sausage and good bread eaten together outdoors with good friends.
  5. great conversation on american politics over said meal.
  6. mom and dad cleaned all of the windows of our house, inside and out. turns out our view is pretty good!  who knew?
  7. hunting mushrooms in the woods at buresø.
  8. mom making apple bars out of apples from our own tree.
  9. mom's help in finishing the edges of the patchwork.
  10. lots of laughter over funny stories.
  11. sabin playing tennis and golf and bowling and boxing on the Wii with her grandfather (and beating him!).
  12. sabin saying, "don't think of it in dollars, think of it like it is," which was a pretty astute comment.

it was a good visit and i'm very glad they came. but it made me realize that we're in transition. i'm in my 40s now and have to face that my parents are getting older. it's strange for me to see my vital and active mother walking slowly because her knee and her heel bother her. my dad seems now like a bit of a fussy eater (or maybe he always was and i never really noticed). but having them visit and see our home and meet our friends and have a little window into our life here was a very good thing.

4 comments:

Kip de Moll said...

yes, it is extremely hard to witness parents growing older. And I too have lived with mine far away and only able to visit irregularly. I much my own children missed not really getting to know their grandparents so well. How much we have missed not having them around to help with our kids. My mother never complained, but oh I know she missed them.

They only get older and frailer and eventually there is a sad end. 10 years older, all of my friends are suffering this Life Change together, sharing the stories of the emotional hardship. Know that you are not alone, trust that your parents are not alone.

And in the meantime, it must have been great to eat your Mom's apple bars!

Barb said...

Oh Julie, how fortunate for you to have had this lovely visit.

As Kip expressed enjoy it as much as you can ... it is too soon over.

Live joyfully & love fiercely!! B

smith kaich jones said...

What a very wise daughter you have. I loved her comment.

Oh, it's so strange to see your parents grow older & really see them as people, not just as your parents. I'm so glad they came for the visit & it sounds like you had fun - plus you got your windows washed! What a mom!

:) Debi

tangobaby said...

Yes, a lovely visit. I'm sure Sabin brings so much joy to your parents!

Watching my parents, who seemed to have aged overnight, has made me even more inspired to do and see and be more, if I can. My parents seem to be morphing into my grandparents lately. And I feel like I'm exactly the same. It changes the dynamics in a very subtle and strange way and I'm still adapting, I guess.

I'm glad your parents made this trip and I hope they can continue to keep visiting you for a long time to come.

xoxo

ps. I finally broke down and got a microwave (the first one I have ever owned) but I must admit that I love microwave popcorn and so I look at it as a popcorn maker more than an actual appliance.