Ralph knows how to relax; but do I?
I recently wrote about Ralph’s good mood and said that his level of relaxation versus anxiety was the key. I wasn’t lying. Because he’s been relaxed, he has been in a great mood during the visits of both our son and our grandson and despite all the entertaining and disruption to his normal life that occurred while they were here.
There was something I didn’t mention, however, because I wasn’t aware of it until now that everyone has gone: Keeping Ralph’s anxiety at bay has been less than relaxing for me.
The good news—I somehow lost weight in the last two weeks although I stopped exercising and started eating everything I usually avoid. The bad news—I am exhausted.
Keeping Ralph on schedule and unstressed is one thing when just the two of us are going through our set daily routine. Throw in extra people, break the routine: suddenly life gets a lot more complicated.
Not that I didn’t enjoy myself. I did because having people around to talk to and laugh with and make election jokes (kind of like funeral or Alzheimer’s jokes) with was delightful.
And not that my son and 16-year-old grandson weren’t amazing…both of them perceptive, understanding and patient.
But I still found myself smoothing things over. Making sure they were not overwhelmed by Ralph, and Ralph was not overwhelmed by them.
When my grandson told me “Oppa” was in much better shape than he’d expected, I was glad and relieved. But also, secretly, a little tiny bit miffed that I was doing my job so well that no one even noticed. (And I am not fishing for compliments here, because most of you face a ton more than I do, but I’m guessing you caregivers know what I mean.)
Well, there will be another test this coming week. Ralph has been invited to go fishing with his “fishing club,” three guys from Nashville with whom he has fished in Florida for the last fifteen years. I was originally going to drive him down, drop him off on Monday and pick him up from the guys on their way home Friday.
But then I realized, who was I kidding. Ralph would be increasingly anxious without me for ballast and he would end up being more responsibility than any three late-middle-aged (to put it kindly) guys could handle. So I am going too. We’ll see how I like being one of the guys.