Saturday, March 19, 2022


I wrote this awhile ago because of a prompt from Elizabeth.

I’m a fifty-nine year old woman with three grown children.  I’m also a grandma.

I had my first child at twenty-one years old and I had no idea what I was doing.  Of course I thought I did, but that wasn’t the case. 

Mistakes were made.

I spent my twenties having babies and going to school.  I became a nurse and even got married during that time.

Being a mom was all I ever wanted when I was young.  It was not what I expected. 

My last baby was born with a severe intellectual disability.  My oldest son had learning disabilities and a strong penchant for lying.  My middle daughter got the hardest job; she was the normal one.   My husband was an alcoholic.   I was depressed.

Mistakes were made.

I have two grandchildren now, two little boys by two different women, both belong to my son. 

My son has spent the last twenty years of his life locked in a battle with drugs and alcohol.  The drugs and alcohol are winning.   He is slowly losing his mind. 

His oldest son is living with my husband and me now.  Five years ago I remarried a lovely man who is happy to be a grandpa to my grandson. 

I’m raising a small person again, at fifty-nine. 

Some things have changed.  I’m no longer young. 

Some things haven’t changed.  Small people need a lot of love and attention.

Mistakes will be made.

I don’t beat myself up like I did when I was young.  I know how imperfect I am.  I know my flaws much better now.

I run the dishwasher, sometimes when it’s not even full.  I put pots and pans and plastic in the dishwasher too.  I lead a reckless life.  All those years of hand washing pots, mistakes were made.

I don’t worry about the fact that my grandson will only eat french fries and chicken.  His aunt only ate condiments when she was his age; she has her own food blog now.

My almost three year old grandson isn’t toilet trained yet.  I also know he won’t go to school in diapers.  I toilet trained his disabled auntie, it took five years.  I got this.

I’m much more patient.  When my grandson yells, “Nana, you  bad guy!” because I took away a toy, I don’t take it personally and I’m impressed with his language skills.

I melted my brand new air fryer by accident and yelled “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” and then cried hard and scared him.  Mistakes were made.

 I apologize to my grandson when I screw up and I try to tell him why I screwed up.  I was tired.  I was scared.  I was angry.  I was hungry.  I was sad.

I’m thankful when my grandson doesn’t repeat everything I say and I’m learning to say fart and sugar.

I tell him I love him, even when he’s mad at me.  I tell him it’s okay to be mad at me and that I will always love him.

His anger with me isn’t a knife in the heart like it was with my own children.  It’s not personal; he’s learning and he feels safe enough to be angry with me.  He knows I can handle it and even more importantly, I know I can handle it now.

The last six months have been hard.  Mistakes were made.  Mostly though, there was a lot of love and I've learned to sit down with a little person and just give him my time and attention.  Sitting side by side is enough sometimes.  


  1. you are doing an amazing job. The bond between grandparent and grandchild is special.

  2. "His anger with me isn’t a knife in the heart like it was with my own children. It’s not personal; he’s learning and he feels safe enough to be angry with me. He knows I can handle it and even more importantly, I know I can handle it now."

    One of many examples of your hard-won wisdom regarding love. Or should I say Love.

  3. You are just the best with Jack, I admire you so much.
    We bought an air fryer, the thing was huge, so we took it back. I'm still on the fence about another electric device; currently waffling about a food processor.

  4. Mistakes were made, but when we fall down we get up again. Thanks for your blog.

  5. Beautiful words for hard times. Mistakes were made and will be made, but there is also so much love. And joy.

  6. Yes. It is good to reflect. To weigh things up. You do well to hold it all together with The Big Guy by your side.

  7. It's not the mistakes we make. It's being able to see them, acknowledge them, and apologize when necessary. I truly believe that. And that's what you are doing.

  8. This is so beautiful, and the last line is killer.

  9. Mistakes are part of life. You are doing an amazing job under hard circumstances.

    My grandchild is three and in preschool and in nappies. Preschool says they'll know when it's time but not yet.

  10. To anyone who says they never made mistakes, I've got a bridge in Paris to sell them. We all make mistakes (of course). I guess the trick is to learn from them. I think you're doing a wonderful job with Jack amidst all the trials and tribulations in your life right now - and he will remember it too!

  11. Of course mistakes were made! You're a human being! I enjoyed the honest reflection in this post, and learning more about you and your family. (I didn't know the order of your children, for example.) As we've all said many times, Jack is lucky to have you, and he will know it someday.

  12. What a brilliant post - immediate and heartfelt and yet, in a sense, years in the making... Best post Ive read in a long while.
    Mistakes are made... of course, but then so too are miracles.

  13. Good post. I especially like the repetition of "mistakes were made."

  14. This is everything. Mistakes or no, your intent is always pure. I love that last line. It bears remembering.

  15. Stunningly good post. Mistakes are necessary.

  16. I love this. I love this so much.