THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
From My Window
A new Packer Fan Joins the Team
By Jane Thibodeau Martin,
My husband and I married in our late 20's, and both of our kids went to college. As a consequence, while most of my Peshtigo High School classmates have grandchildren, I am a little behind the curve. I haven't minded, since having children is a very serious accountability and I firmly believe all children should be wanted. My attitude has been it will happen if it is meant to, and all in good time. In the meantime I've loved my grand-dog and grand-cats and been grateful for my children's best friends: my beautiful inside-and-out daughter-in-law and the wonderful man in my daughter's life.
I recently received a very meaningful gift. Inside a small box was a little pair of Green Bay Packer booties, and a note, "A new fan is joining the team!" After five years of marriage, our son and his wife are expecting, and I couldn't be happier, or more excited.
It was nearly impossible for me to keep this secret for a while, as they asked me to, since I felt so differently it seemed it must be outwardly visible to others. While there are hundreds of reasons for joy, the things I most look forward to are simple ones.
I have had to throw out, with great sadness, many paper keepsakes my children made me over the years. The curling paper turkey, posted on my refrigerator for the last 25 years. A tracing of a child's hand, with colored paper feathers, it became so brittle it fell apart. The Styrofoam Christmas tree, decorated with spray paint and sequins, crumbling and crushed after being taken out and packed away for dozens of holidays. Deteriorating macaroni Christmas tree ornaments. And my Easter bunny cutout with the cotton balls glued on, stained and dirty. My new grandchild's art will have a prominent display on my fridge, because their art evokes their innocent hearts.
And cookie making " 45 minutes to make the cookies, and two hours of cleaning afterwards! And the baths with food coloring in the water! And the friendships between the family pets and the newcomer " captured in pictures to help them remember as adults their first canine and feline friends, long gone.
This will further cement the positive relationship we have with my son's "second family." These "in-laws" do not deserve such a legalese title " they have treated all of us like family and become, in fact, our family here in Oklahoma. Our own families are far away in Wisconsin, but it eases that separation to be included in countless holiday gatherings and social activities here with our Oklahoma family. We are so truly blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives through Sam's wife.
So I enter a period of time now which is much like Advent before Christmas " a time of reflection, preparation, and hope. The job of a grandparent is to support the parents, love the new family unit, and be the mentor of the newest Packer fan of the Martin family. I am fully prepared for my new job.