Saturday, 3 December 2011

Grannyhood: Counting down to lift off

Nearly every woman I know has either had a grandchild in the last few years or is going to be a granny in 2012.

We all vary widely in our ages. One friend is in her mid-60s and is finally getting a little powdery plaything. Most of us are professional women in our mid to late 50s with children who range in age from 25 to 30.

We are the generation who chose to wait a while before we had kids. I myself was just turning 30 when I had Nick. I admit, I had no clue what I was doing.

The children of my friends, the new generation of parents, could not be more different. Some are incredibly responsible young persons who have completed their masters, landed high paying jobs and bought houses paying cash while others are still trying to decide whether to buy diapers or spend money on the newest video game offering.

To me, it doesn't matter the pedigree of the parents, as long as they do right by their new children. I've learned the hard way that life can change on a dime, but as long as love is there, children will adjust to nearly every situation.

I believe I am unique among my friends for being the only granny who will be participating in the active care and raising of our little Skylar. Nick and Shyla are just getting on their feet with Nick working the overnight shift at a big box store. They'll be living in our house in the basement apartment below us -- and paying rent for all those skeptics! -- until Skylar is at least three.

The dogs will be suitably traumatized but hopefully will adjust.

I feel lucky, even privileged, to be part of the loving circle that will surround this new girl of ours. It will give me a bit of purpose to my life, to have somebody else to care for and someone else who will, hopefully, love me back.

Skylar is already making me a better person. I'm the healthiest I've been in decades. I know I have to keep myself limber and fit to chase around a toddler.

My own poor mother was in ill health when my kids were born and, while she was attentive to them, she was unable to take an active role in caring for them. She was happy to stay with me when they were born, and to sit with Nick and Stef for a couple of hours while I got some shut eye. But she couldn't take the boys even for a few hours, alone in the house.

I know she did the best she could, and I'm sad that she wasn't able to live long enough to see them grow out of the baby years.

I was thinking today about the differences between our generation of grannies and my mom's crew. We all try to eat properly and work out. They made pies with ciggies in their mouths.

We dye our hair. They rocked the salt and pepper look.

Man, they really looked old compared to us.

Despite the differences, our generation of later boomers aren't any wiser than the women who raised us. We've been too being traumatized by nasty bosses, nutrition labels and bio-identical hormones to be laid back in our old age.

Our mums accepted geezerhood. We run from it.

So I'm counting on Scott and even the parents downstairs to slap me on the forehead when I start trying to run things or grab the apple juice out of the baby's mouth because I heard it might have trace arsenic.

I'm a championship meddler. I know I am. I have to watch myself.

But I have more love and patience to give than most.

Just ask Nick.

Anyway, for the first time in years, I have a wish for Santa.

I'm wishing little Skylar will be as healthy as an Olympic skier with the temperament of Kermit the Frog.

I'm willing to take crabby as long as she's healthy.

We're counting down to lift off.

No comments:

Post a Comment