Monday, March 23, 2009

Did You Just Call Me "Granny"?

Thank you to those who sent kind comments and emails last week, what a pick me up! While I won't be taking off any time soon, it did give me some ideas for things I might try this spring to keep me feeling fresh and productive.

And speaking of fresh, Andrew and I spent Saturday afternoon skiing while the kids were busy with their own activities and without children we were free to go as fast and as hard as we wanted. It was great to be skiing just like in our early years together and the day was beautiful but by the evening I was already getting preliminary damage reports from my tired muscles that I'd probably pushed it too hard.

However, the night wasn't over yet because we were supposed to help chaperon a teen dance that Grace and her friends wanted to attend.

So with a minivan full of giggling, teenage girls twitching to the beat on the radio and arguing about whether Jacob or Edward were the better man (and unless you have a Twilight fan in the house you'll have no idea what I'm talking about) we headed across town for the evening.

When we pulled into the parking lot the girls scattered and when Andrew and I finally limped our tired bones into the gymnasium I happened to run into a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in about seven years. She's a Tongan beauty who happens to be exactly the same age as I am, give or take a week, and it was great to see her again. It's the kind of thing where we moved from one side of town to the other and that's just the right distance to lose touch with someone. You're too far away to run into them at the school or at the store, yet not far away enough to send Christmas cards and follow the formal "keeping in touch" procedures.

We hugged and I told her how great she looked (she did, seven years hadn't touched her) and we started to catch up on the kids. How many do you have? How are they doing? How's Mele? Are you in the same house? Etc., etc., etc.

Then she drops the bomb.

"Guess what?" she says with this crazy, dazed look on her face.

"What?" I said, wondering what was coming next.

"I'm a grandmother!"

It's a good thing Andrew was nearby because I'd forgot to bring my smelling salts and the gym floor is hard wood.

"A grandmother??" There is NO WAY a woman that young--hardly more than 20 or 25 right?--could be a grandmother but sure enough her oldest daughter who was at college had married young and now at 19 had just had a baby of her own three weeks ago. Making my friend, this wonderful youthful woman who practically shares my birthday a bona fide grandmother.

Forget AIG bonuses, forget troubles in Afghanistan, forget our shattered economy this was undoubtedly the most disturbing news I'd heard all week.

Between my sore thighs reminding me of long lost days of skiing youth and the news that I had officially reached the age where I was physical capable of producing a second generation I could practically feel the liver spots forming.

It reminded me of how I'd been shopping a couple weeks ago at Fred Meyer and heard them playing the Ramones over the music system while I wheeled my cart up the canned foods aisle. Since when were the Ramones a riff away from Muzak? Since when did "I Wanna Be Sedated" cross into the realms of "adult contemporary"?

While cognitively I realize I'm nearly 40 I swear I'm still 20 as if I've never aged a year and only when I happen to stop working long enough to look down at my hands--the hands of a middle-aged woman--do I suspect otherwise. It's a strange feeling to realize that I have somehow grown my mother's hands: pleasing to see the continuity and connection between generations but shocking to see how time hasn't a clue how old I'm supposed to be.

Oh well. While aging is difficult, as my father says: "It's better than the alternative." But I'd just as soon have Grace wait a few years--say ten or fifteen?--before bestowing the title of "Grandma" on me. I think I'd like to enjoy the anticipation of the event for a few more years yet.

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45 comments:

The Source said...

I'm in complete agreement with you on this one. I'd prefer to wait 10 to 15 years before becoming "Granny" myself. On the other hand, with all the aches and creaks and such, the title would probably suit me now.

Edi said...

Nothing like someone else making us feel old! My oldest sister has a son in his twenties, and my sister is only 2 yrs older than me and my oldest is only 9! A year and a half from my age now my mom would have had 5 girls and would be a first time grandma ...

I think in part it's hard for us to comprehend b/c in our own minds we FEEL like we are still only 20 (now our bodies definitely don't feel like they are still only 20) - so while everyone around us is still aging we are staying the same.

Lucy said...

Welcome to my world. I am plainly too young to have four grandchildren. Little ones, though, they are. But I have to say this....they are the greatest blessing (right now...teenage years are on the way) that any woman could have and that includes the 'real' children. There's something about hearing the word 'grandma' that makes your heart absolutly melt. It's such a different, wonderful feeling.

The scary thing? If mine had had a child at 19? And I could possibly be a great-grandmother right now? Ye gads....I don't even want to THINK about that.

Robin said...

Well I'm about your age (40 is looming just a few short months from now) and I'm with you - no way, no how am I old enough to even consider being a grandma!

Thankfully my oldest only just turned eight, so I think I've got a while yet ;-).

a Tonggu Momma said...

My momma became a grandmother by 45 - and not because my sister was a particularly young mom (24 when her first was born), but because MY mom was young when she birthed my sis.

Jennifer said...

You are no granny yet! We we just talking this weekend about how I don't feel like I am going to be 32 this year. I still think of myself as in my mid-20s. I keep looking for those fine wrinkles to set in though... I know they are coming!

Annette Lyon said...

Disturbing indeed. I realized recently that if my oldest daughter does what I did, I'll be a grandmother in 9 years. NOT COOL.

Jolene said...

I will be 40 this year. My oldest are 14 - I told them that I need at least 10 years before they start reproducing. I have run in to a few friends from High School who have kids on church missions, kids getting married and I think 'I'm so glad I'm not that old' - even though we are the same age.

M said...

LOL - Love this!

It must be the fact that I still am in my 20s (barely) but I would just prefer to skip over middle age and go straight to old age and being a granny! Grannies have the most fun!

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

LOL, just the other day I was remembering how Loretta Lynn was a grandma at 29.

I have three years to catch her, but my oldest will only be six...

Scribbit said...

Oh my that's disturbing--29?? I guess it's possible but WOW. That makes you feel sheepish.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I hear you loud and clear.

Not that I will be able to hear tomorrow...I just got my first pair of glasses. Well two. One for up close and one for driving. I'm not ready for the "b" word yet!

I have blocked all readers on my blog...just saving it for photo storage. I'll be reading though!

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

You had me laughing sooooooooooo hard! You see I married an older guy (17 years my senior though at the time he looked my age) many moons ago and was turned into a grandmother in my late 20's (made for some fun conversation when I'd take my granddaughter to girls scouts and she'd introduce me as her grandmother). It's actually kind of fun once they're past the baby stage.

Neas Nuttiness said...

On the flip side...my grand children have brought out "the girl in me". I get to see things through their eyes, and they fill me with such wonder and devotion. I love being a "Nonnie", and look forward to my newest grand son, who is due any day now.

chelle said...

Wow 40 is young to be a grandparent! That would have floored me too!~

Maddy said...

Yup, too true, too true. I'm 49 this year and my 27 year daughter just married, I just hope that I can make it 50 before I become a grandmother......not sure quite why though?
Cheers

Mom24 said...

I became a Grandma at 39. After they had been married 2 years. My youngest was 3. It's surreal to be me. :-)

Alison Kelley said...

I married when I was 22 and had my oldest son 14 months later. My mom at the time was only 44 years old and I remember thinking, wow, I sure made her a young grandmother. I hope to be more mature when I have grand kids, I still feel like one of the kids right now.

Melissa said...

Oh, I feel your pain! I am in my 30's (but won't say where in there) and am a great-aunt. How did that happen? When did my niece grow up and become a mom?!?

Even better, shortly after I got married a young salesman implied that I was my new husband's mom. He did NOT get our business!

Janet said...

Yes, you're too young to be a grandmother. If I'd had a baby at 19, that baby would be 27 right now. I can't even fathom it.

About 2 years ago a former colleage became a grandmother at age 29 (her 13-year-old son got his 13-year-old girlfriend pregnant - the grandparents are sharing custody - both kids moved on before the baby was born).

I'm considerably older than you, but many of my daughter's dance class friends have grandmothers younger than I am. I am frequently mistaken for my kids' grandmother. The Mountain Man has mostly grey hair, too, which makes it worse.

laughingatchaos said...

I'm not quite to that age yet. My husband is, and has several high school friends with grandkids. Makes him shudder and me laugh. ;) But you're right, it's better than the alternative! :)

Jenny86753oh9 said...

One of my dear blogging friends will be a grandmother in 2 months. She's 43. Mind you, she started having babies at a young age and I started much later in life...but it still floors me!

CountessLaurie said...

Now that I have stopped laughing, I just have one thing to say...

Totally Edward. Sheesh!

:-)

Courtney said...

okay you are a funny girl! I don't think its the norm these days to be a grandmother that soon, so you should not worry my love. however, you may want to lock Grace up for the next 15 years. just in case :)

Amber said...

My sister-in-law was a mother at 20 and a grandmother at 39. Could happen. Just glad it didn't happen to me. Though admittedly it would be nice to actually have some energy with the grandkids, which I will not have when I'm in my 60s and my kids start having kids!

SabineM said...

You make me laugh.. yes a scary thought! WOW....

miriama said...

LMBO. I am 49, had my first daughter at 25 and my second at 35. I am one of the oldest parents at her school which always surprises me. Why? Because when I look in the mirror I am still just a little surprised to not see a 17-year-old looking back at me. I don't feel that different...certainly not emotionally or mentally some days...LOL

And I became a grandma two years ago. I LOVE it. Seriously when there is that knock at the front door and I hear GAMMA! GAMMA! or she runs across the room when it is time to leave.....and she grabs me tight crying No! Gamma, Gamma! I just melt.

But don't ask me what being a great-grandma would do to me..now THAT scares the hell out of me.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I was pregnant with my first at 19 and if Cookie follows suit (though I'm hoping she will be older) that means I only have 9 more years before I gain granny status. You are right, it is more disturbing than any other major worldly event!

april~living the sweet life said...

This whole past year I was thinking about my age and the possibility of me being a grandma could be real. My mom was two weeks shy of 19 when she had me and if I have a baby at her age yes I could be a grandma! What kind of crazy world is this. I was still thinking about having a baby or two of my own here. I am not ready to be tossed into the grandma realm yet! Since my oldests(twins) are only 13 I have a few years more to go. Thank goodness. I am not giving into being that old yet! I was driving with my sister is who a year younger. We both looked a bumper sticker on the car in front of us that read " when did I get old?!?" We both laughed yeah when did we get old enough to go to 20 year reunions and have teenagers and know people who are becoming grandmas? Why didn't anyone warn us this would happen so fast without us noticing?!?

Organizing Mommy said...

Yes, it just happened to me also. NOT that I am a grandmother or anything. It was worse. I was walking with my four year old daughter in a place where I have been before but never brought children. A lady recognized me and gave me a friendly greeting, "Oh, I see you brought your granddaughter with you this time." ugh....Yes, I just turned 40 a few months ago. Tis the season...

Alice Wills Gold said...

35 and have no plans of grandmotherhood ANY TIME in the next ten years....that makes me feel young again...thanks....I guess I will get to skip the sore bones from the skiing trip that I am too old for :)

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I'll never forget the time a couple of years ago when I noticed my hands (really noticed them) in a mirror as I was pushing my baby's stroller. Here I had spent all this time inspecting my face and hair for signs of aging and my hands were giving me away, totally.

Madeline said...

Whoa, nellie! That IS young, young, young to be a granny!

Anji Gallanos said...

My friend and i were talking about how the Cruise ship passengers coming to Juneau seem to be getting younger and younger. We have always thought of Cruisers as "the older crowd". We both kind of looked at each other and said, "They aren't getting younger..now their just our age"..

When I say 40 out loud..it sounds old but then I always think...when did that happen?

poppy fields said...

I know what you mean. I'm a little older than you but I still feel very 20-25ish, except when I look closely in the mirror. And I have several same age friends with kids in their 20's. How did this happen????

dpenguin said...

I have my mom's hands, too. Funny how that works!

jubilee said...

When my daughter plays with her babies, she insists on calling me "gramma." ugh. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to hearing that term when it refers to me!

Hazel said...

I've been "Granny" for nearly fourteen years now and I have to say that it is the most rewarding relationship that I have ever had in my life. 1 boy, 2 girls and they're all wonderful (with me but apparently not when I'm not around).

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

My grandma was a grandma at 40. And my aunt at 36. It's crazy, I agree! :) Congrats to her!

Chas said...

It's scary,for sure. My mom was a grandma at 36,and I am 34 now. I can't imagine my boys (7 & 1) being old enough for that. With any luck, I won't get that title until I'm at least 50.

Wild Squirrel said...

I think about this all the time...how young I feel but how old my hands look! Recently I attended a gardening class at the local extension office and was mistaken for 16...

Okay, so the lady who thought I was 16 was probably 85, but who cares! I guess she didn't see my hands.:/

ooglebloops said...

When close friends become grandma's for the first time - it is both joyful.....and disturbing!!!!!!! LOL
Altho some days, I creak and groan, I am still 22 - until my 22 year old daughter and I happen to look into the same mirror at the same time - reality is harsh!! :>)

If you get a chance, drop by and enter my Spring giveaway!!

Deb said...

I have to say that 52 was a nice age for a first grandchild. And some still think I'm not old enough though no one thinks I'm her mother.

When we were newlyweds a car dealer asked my husband if his daughter (meaning me) had her driver's license. That was kind of annoying but getting into the state fair for half-price wasn't so bad (sshh, don't tell).

As for the 40s angst, you could always borrow Jack Benny's birthday answer: "I'm turning 39 again."

Lis Garrett said...

My husband is 43, and it always throws him when he runs into friends who have kids who are in college, considering our oldest is 9. But then I remind him that, yes, it's possible. But I know that feeling of FEELING a lot younger than you actually are. I can't stand when 18-year-old guys call me ma'am. Or when I (gulp) see a guy a good 10 years my junior and think he's HOT. LOL! I certainly feel closer to 21 instead of 31.

Lis Garrett said...

PS - I have a soft spot for Jacob, but Edward totally gets my heart thumpin'. ;-)