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A Grandmother’s Deja Vu Experience

Posted on: September 30th, 2013 by bubbyjoysandoys 4 Comments

Enjoyed this? Share it, and attribute it. Copyright 2014, Bubby Joys and Oys, M. Hendeles

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We’ve all had the experience. You’re standing somewhere, in a particular situation of your daily life, and suddenly you think, “hey, I’ve felt this feeling before. This feels so familiar…when did this happen to me? Where was I when it happened in the past….?”

It’s called “having a deja vu.”

Just this morning, I had a deja vu experience.  Except the difference was that I didn’t wonder “where or when.”

I knew exactly where. And I knew exactly when.

It was as if I was back several decades ago,  experiencing something in the exact same way.

Before I drive you crazy with wondering what in the world I’m talking about, I’ll tell you the story.

Normal Grandmother Stuff:

Last night, my married son  called me to ask if I could babysit the kids for one hour in the early morning.

“Just till my friend picks them up for carpool at 8 am, Ma, K?”

“Sure – no problem. Just tell him to honk at 8 and I’ll bring them outside.” – I answered my son.

I’m always eager to help out in ways that the married kids need us.

No Deja Vu yet – very normal. Grandmother stuff. Watching the kids.

This morning the kids came. One was watching a DVD on his uncle’s Ipad, and the other was crying, “I want my Daddy! I want my Mommy!”

Still very normal.

At 8:05 am, while checking email, I received a call from my son.

“Ma, Joe* is waiting outside. Can you bring the boys outside?”

Deja Vu – All over again

“Sure,” and as fast as I could, I called, “Boys! Come! Get the backpacks! Let’s go! Carpool is waiting!!”

One kid ran out immediately. The younger one ran out, realized he forgot his lunch -box and then ran back in.

I helped Joe buckle my be-backpacked grandson in the backseat of the van, but I was feeling anxious that the 3 year old was still sans lunch-box, scrounging around the house for it…while the clock was ticking at their respective schools.

I turn around, and there is the little guy,

“I has it, Omi! Here my lunth box!”

Great. Whew.  I helped the lunch-box guy get into the car-seat and Joe strapped him in right next to Joe’s little daughter and son. I noted that Joe was just a tad nervous – probably about getting the kids to school on time, and a flash of that anxiety shot through my psyche as I recalled the same exact feeling all those years of carpool.

Dormant Feelings

The rushing, the panic, the last minute tasks of breakfast, packing lunches (hopefully the night before), the watching the clock (the distractedness while the carpool arrives), the running out to the car.

The pride of the freshly washed and dressed children. All eager for their first day back at school after a long Holiday vacation. Will they have a good day in school today? Will things go well for them?

These are feelings we never forget. We experienced them then. And we are having them again now – while observing the next generation go about their daily parenting activities.

We may be grandparents who just watch the kids for brief periods of time, and then give the children back to their parents.

We- mothers-in-law and grandmothers — may seem as if we don’t “get it.” Like we don’t remember a thing about raising kids.

But trust me, we remember. We recall. We never ever forget.

And yes,  just a forgotten lunch box held by a skipping pre-schooler down a front lawn to a waiting mini-van, filled with buckled-in kiddies, are enough to trigger those dormant feelings.


Just enough to get those feelings to tumble out all over the front sidewalk and cause me to go back into my house and sigh.

Ahh. Memories and Deja Vu.

These feelings empower me to have empathy and appreciation for what the younger generation is going through. To recall what it was like for us, and to be there to support them – when we can.

What do you think? Have you had a “been there, done that, and really remember the feelings” experience lately? How does that affect your relationships in a positive way?


*Name changed for privacy

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4 Responses

  1. So true and so nicely said! I love seeing the little ones with their backpacks and lunch boxes– it does remind me of their fathers’ school days.

  2. OmaOrBubby says:

    Yes it’s really fascinating the way we move through
    the stages of life and are surprised when those
    after us, go through *our* previous motions. Like
    :). Carpools. Backpacks. Parenting. It’s
    all about nostalgia. Glad
    you related, Lisa!

  3. Rivki Silver says:

    You describe it so well! It’s clear you don’t forget. I just dropped both my (very sad) boys off at their respective schools this morning. Yesterday they were all smiles and skipping, and this morning was very different. I miss them and they miss me. :/ But I know they will sort into it with time.

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