Once I was naive enough to believe that when my children could walk, talk, and go to the bathroom by themselves that I would have more free time! Very funny statement I know, my boys are 10 and 12 and I am busier now than I was when they were babies. I never stop, I go to work every day and come home at night to make dinner, make sure homework is done and drive here or there for practices or games. I’m certainly not complaining, I love my boys, my husband and I love my life. I’m always tired and sometimes cranky but wouldn’t change it for the world. Last weekend the boys and I headed to Manning Park again for one last weekend of skiing before the hill closed for the season. My husband had to work so we left him behind! Skiing for three days is a lot of work and tiring but it’s good exercise and it’s great to get fresh air. My mother-in-law has a cabin about 15 minutes from the ski hill and she still works as ski school director at the mountain – she’s 76 years old. I haven’t blogged about my mother-in-law because she’s not the type of person that would appreciate being blogged! However, our relationship is unique and she is a big part of our family, therefore she should be blogged. The children call my mother-in-law Nonna -Italian for grandmother as she is Italian. Her and I are two different woman, we don’t think the same, we don’t act the same but we are identical in our trait of being very stubborn. Nonna has been on her own for a long time as my husband’s father died when he was 18. About 8 years ago, Nonna decided to sell the family home and to make a long story short, she moved in with us. Nonna is very independent but she winters up at the cabin and just wanted a place she could leave, lock the door and not worry about anything. So move on to a family discussion over dinner one night which ended with Nonna moving in with us. She first moved into our old house – it was tiny and we had to move the two boys in the same room. We did this for about a year and then went house hunting, found this house and we built a home in the basement for her. Even though Nonna lives in the basement she comes up to break bread with us daily, comes grocery shopping with us, attends the boys’ hockey and lacrosse games when she’s in town, the boys join her to watch tv downstairs at least once a week and Nonna has joined us on the odd holiday. The relationship works, her and I get along and the children adore her. When my own mother became ill with Alzheimer’s, Nonna was a huge support to me. She didn’t really say a whole lot but she listened to me for hours on end and I can’t tell you how much to this day I appreciate her support. We may be two very different woman, but we respect each other immensely. Our family enjoys the trips we take several times a year to go to the cabin. On the last day of skiing this year, Nonna took the afternoon off and skied with me and the boys, 76 years old and still skiing. Really a time to cherish because the boys will look back at this one day and remember the time at the cabin and remember the special times with Nonna. I couldn’t be happier for all three of them and I’ve had a great view of their relationship just hanging back and watching the bonding that takes place between grandmother and grandchildren. Nonna may not know it but she’s a living legacy and my boys will talk about her to their children – “Your great grandmother skied with us at 76 years old!” I hope I live long enough and be blessed with good health to share the same bond with my own grandchildren!