Wickedly Jealous

I saw you this morning and I couldn’t help but stare as you stood beside the back door of your car waiting. As I walked across the parking lot toward you I guessed at what you might be waiting for; I’ve seen that look before. I drew near and my assumption was confirmed as I watched you close the car door, gently take the hand of a little boy in yours, and walk toward the store with him jumping and bobbing along with every step.
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I envy you. Every time I see you I get a lump in my throat and my eyes burn with tears I try to hold back.
I see you often; we seem to frequent the same places. I’ve seen you in the bookstore sitting on the floor reading to a little child. I’ve seen you at the grocery store, a little one holding on to the side of the buggy while you peruse the varieties of cereal on the shelves.
I’ve been taught that it’s wrong to let jealousy have a foothold. The counsel is to be thankful for what one has instead of coveting that which someone else has but I can’t help it.
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Every time I see a woman of my demographic in the company of a child I’m overcome with longing. Do you realize how blessed you are to be able to be part of the day-to-day life of your grandchild? I wonder. Do you know I would change places with you in a nano-second if I could?
When I hear tales from women like you who are fortunate enough to be able to have their grandchildren sleep over at their houses regularly, those for whom it’s commonplace to make up silly games to amuse them with, to cook their special food for them, to take them shopping, to watch TV shows with them, and finally to fall into bed at the end of a weekend exhausted from trying to keep up with them, I’m wickedly jealous. 
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You are one of the blessed ones, grandmother-who-lives-close-to-her-grandchildren. Never forget it. Don’t take it for granted. There are many like me who would give anything to be where you are today.

I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. I needed that reminder today, Linda. You are brave to share your feelings in this way.

    1. Thank you, Marian. Sometimes these feelings just leak out.

  2. Hi Linda, Thanks for this honest and beautifully written post. I read it two times and will go back and read it again. We all have things that we are jealous of, and I (and probably many others) can so relate to your feelings of wanting something that we don’t have.

    1. And the challenge lies in continuing to be thankful for what we have in every moment, doesn’t it?

      1. Absolutely. I so agree with that. It can be a challenge to remember to be thankful. But when I do, it becomes gradually easier. One day at a time…

  3. Linda, this post is so poignant in its honesty and longing. I am one of those lucky “Nanas” whose grandchildren live closeby and have always been aware how blessed I have been. I know I’d feel jealous too if the situation was different. Thanks for sharing.

    1. How wonderful for you, Kathy! I am certain you appreciate each and every moment you are able to spend with your grands.

  4. Most of the time I take for granted my living close to my daughter and grandson. My two children saw my parents once and at most twice a year and even more rarely saw other grandparents. Wondering how their attitudes and lives might be different if they had lived close.

    1. Sometimes I long for simpler times when grandparents lived in the same small village, if not on the same family farm, as their grandchildren. Progress has a price, doesn’t it?

  5. Hi Linda .. not having children or obviously grandchildren .. my heart throbs occasionally but as you say “it’s life” .. and I count my blessings in other ways .. I learnt to give my love to my mother and uncle before they died – a reversal process, but a learning one too …

    With thoughts and enjoys yours anywhich way – Hilary

  6. We’re a large tribe, Linda. My grands are scattered all over, and becoming more so as they move off to college. College? How did THAT happen? A few more eye blinks and another generation will emerge … Thanks for sharing your poignant post.

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