It was Grandparents Day this weekend at the school. B's parents came in for a visit, and for the first time it really felt like a visit. I watched my kids give them kisses goodnight before going up to bed, and it took me straight back to when my grandparents came to visit when I was a child.
And it hit me. My kids will feel about their grandparents the way I feel about mine in that they live far away and we wish it were different, but we get to see them only on special occasions. Life is different when they're here because they're not usually here.
And it wasn't always that way. It didn't used to feel like a visit when they came, even last year. It was like having them in the house took us back to when we lived 10 minutes from them; it took us back to normal.
This weekend I realized that the new normal is without them. That having them here feels different than normal. We still do normal things. We also do lots of fun, special things. But their presence is exceptional instead of typical.
I'm not angry or bitter or upset about this. Just realizing it and acknowledging it. And letting it be a good thing and a sad thing at the same time. Sitting in the feeling of it. And verbal processing on paper so that I can really know what I think about it all. Aren't you glad. ;)