I went and visited with my grandparents today. I don’t do that nearly often enough. Especially lately. It was wonderful to see them. The accounts I had from my mom on how they are had me increasingly worried, but today, they were full of smiles and jokes and laughter. Sharing old stories and learning new ones. I brought Chris and Grayson with with me. Their house isn’t toddler proof – so there were a few moments when I thought I was going to melt down, but they quickly passed and we found new distractions to keep the little one busy for a decent length of a visit. Granddad gave me this photo above. He had looked at the engine of my new car, was happy to see it was well maintained and was telling Chris a story. He designed the propulsion system of the Concorde. And when they took the first model out for a test run, it flew beautifully, but Granddad wasn’t sure. He asked the mechanic to open up the door and this was a snapshot they took. It was covered in oil. They went back for another few rounds before they got it right. I’d never seen this photo before. And I love it. Hell, the history behind it alone is pretty damn cool. But the shot is just a cool one too. 🙂
We sat and talked about airplanes for a bit. Apparently he wrote a short book about his work with all the airplanes over the years. He sent it to someone at the Museum of Flight and they asked if they could keep it and put it on display in their library. I didn’t know that. I felt like a horrible granddaughter for not knowing that. He showed me a copy of the book. It was amazing. Inspiring. I felt so proud to have this man guide me in my life.
I love him. He has been someone I’ve butted heads with a TON in the past. He is incredibly logical and sound. Traditional and old fashioned. And yet also has this amazing streak of creativity that leads to some positively incredible watercolor paintings. He’d drill math and science into me as if my life depended upon it, but then would randomly put on a hat and crown and a robe and sing from My Fair Lady doing all the voices with flair and presentation or stop everything to jitterbug with Nana in the kitchen. I grew up with them. Spent time with them at least 5 times a week..sometimes even more.
They always made it very clear that knowledge was the most valuable and valued thing you could have. That to stop or give up is simply just NOT an option. You might have to wait, work for it, do what you need to do to get it right. It’s not always fun, it’s certainly not always easy, but with passion, love, time, dedication, hard work, loyalty, and sometimes a little creativity, you figure it out.
For a long time, I’ve always done and acted the way they wanted me to. Or how I thought they wanted me to. I stopped doing that just a little over a year ago. I started to show them ME. I left the ex. They were shocked. Horrified actually. Accused me of breaking up a family. Of destroying the children’s lives forever. I remember debating with myself on how much to reveal to them. I went with being pretty open and transparent. A few things I kept to myself, hey, different generations – they just don’t need to go there. But I did share a lot. I shared how proud I am of where I am in my career. How, while I may not be inventing propulsion systems that can break the sound barrier, or redesigning an airplane made to fly so light and so high it can be used for new purposes…I am doing things to help society. Hm.. well shit. Am I? I’m not convinced that the technology I build is doing anything to truly help society. I mean, yea, it is… but it’s also a reason why there’s an odd breakdown happening in the world as far as communication.
All I’ve ever wanted was for them to be proud of me. And I know that in a lot of ways, they are. Today, I saw it. The last time I visited with them, I saw it. But there was other stuff in there too. Worry, a lack of understanding, hope but I’m not quite sure what they are hoping for along with a myriad of other things. They’re proud I bought the car, they’re proud that I am successful. They are proud that I’m a good parent, I’m responsible, I read, I’m knowledgeable…blah blah blah. Why do I always feel like I can’t quite measure up? I’ve always felt that way. I don’t fully understand it. I think it’s because I look at all that he went through to get where he got. It’s an incredible story. About pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps and making it the right way. I looked up to him for that. Still do. Here’s a question tho, will I ever feel like I’ve accomplished enough to be worthy? And lord knows, accomplishments aren’t just in career. It’s in family, in love, in life, in reading and the quest for knowledge. I know I’m getting there. I’m happy with my progress, but will I ever be enough?
I saw my parents today too. Their house is always such a contrast to the grandparents. Their dog jumping around happily. My parents have gotten happier over the course of their marriage… Just as Nana and Granddad did with theirs. It’s lovely to have that kind of example around me. They’ve gotten cooler to me as I’ve aged. I thought kids were always supposed to be annoyed by their parents, but mine, honestly, have become friends over the years too. My stepdad and I are going to plan a double-ish date of some sort. Go to a comedy club, order a few drinks, have a bit of fun. I’m really shocked he brought it up and absolutely happy with the idea.
Hugely busy week ahead of me. Taking a training course from 9-5 all week, but still have work to do and silly people trying to book meetings around my training. I just hope they let me come up for air at some point. If not, I may need someone to throw me a life preserver.
So that’s me – signing out on a Sunday. 🙂