I have been a nanny for as long as I can remember and have babysat children from just a couple months old all the way up to their teenage years. I have worked with families with a single child, and some with 4. I’ve worked summers, winters, holidays, and everything in between and have loved every second of it. But still, none of that is anything like babysitting grandma.
We all have those friends who turn into extended family. Well this week I am babysitting my best friend’s grandma… and I also call her grandma. She is a sweet but frail 95 year old woman who has been through quite a lot in her lifetime; now with memory lapses as comes with age, stories blur together and become repetitive, she frequently forgets my name and where she is, and even after it all, she still loves unconditionally. Our days are filled lounging around in our pajamas and reading books. We also play several rounds of Chinese Checkers after each meal and let me just tell you, this woman has no mercy when it comes to absolutely creaming me.
At the start of the week, I was anxious as to how everything was going to go and if she’d be comfortable around me. I quickly found out that she does better than even most millenials do with change. She likes to remember the past when she grew up on the farm and when she had to walk miles to school both ways (that was actually a thing), and how they had to wash their laundry on stones by the river because there was no electricity. The industrial revolution did wonderful things for making life easier, but it also made us later generations lazier. At 95 years old, grandma is still walking around by herself and getting herself dressed and making food whereas I, at 23, feel like I am falling apart with constant back and knee pain that makes even the littlest of tasks a chore.
Overall, I am so grateful I got to spend this time with her and it really puts into perspective how precious life is. So hug those close to you and tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them because one day they’ll be just a memory like all the stories grandma is telling.