By RENEE WELLS
Although I’m not necessarily looking forward to growing old, there are some good things that come with age.
A couple months ago, our second oldest grandchild called us to tell us we were going to be great grandparents. Of course, we were elated. She is a beautiful young woman and will make a super mom, just like her own mother.
She is our second child’s second child – if there is something significant in that, I am unaware of what it would be. I don’t think you have to be aligned in any certain order to be anything special, but I am certain that either because of – or in spite of – her place in line, she will be a terrific mama.
I should be giddy about this. I remember being giddy about my first child – about every one of my children for that matter; and about my first grandchild – but for some reason, the arrival of a “great” grandchild (while great) is a little portentous. I feel like this may be just the beginning of my slipping into that ominous void old people find themselves in called the generation gap! For some reason, this event is making me feel a little timeworn.
So, to dispel those wrinkled and stooped phantasms that seem to be plaguing me, I allowed myself to spend a couple hours this past weekend just reminiscing about the births of this new baby’s grandma and mama.
Kim was our first daughter. I was barely more than a child myself when she was born. I felt like I had the whole world by the tail. We had been blessed, first, with a son, then only 13 months later, with this beautiful dark-haired, brown –eyed angel. I loved being a mother and it was heaven to watch this little nymph grow up under the protective care of her “big” brother. I felt so fulfilled.
By the time she was 16 months old, there was another little brother and many people would ask me if Steve, our firstborn, and Kim, my lovely little daughter, were twins. She was fast becoming his “big” sister.
Another couple years and there were three boys and one girl and she ruled the roost. She was the epitome of a tomboy and could hold her own with any kid in the neighborhood. As she soon became our only girl with six brothers, I worried that she would be more tomboy than young lady, and that was really driven home to me when the Declo High School wrestling coach called us to ask if we’d consider letting (our only daughter) wrestle.
Over my dead body – I was determined that, somehow, I’d teach her to be a lady.
Then her little sister arrived, and suddenly I saw in Kim a spark of feminine humanity. She loved to hold her baby sister, to rock her, to dress her up. But, only when she wasn’t riding horses, playing basketball or, yep, you guessed it, wrestling with her brothers.
Then Kim accomplished something did that baffled me. At 18 years of age, she became the mother of a daughter of her own – and suddenly every feminine gene she inherited from generations back, came alive. She became an amazing mother overnight. I was instantly in awe of her.
A year and a half later, Salise, our great-grandbaby’s mama-to-be, arrived and was taught everything she needed to fulfill this amazing role she is about to step into.
In no time, Kim was the mother of four beautiful daughters and I was honored to watch as she raised them to be everything she is, and more.
Why didn’t I have someone to teach me all the things I must have taught her? No, wait! Who taught her to be a charming and beautiful example to those wonderful granddaughters of ours? Where did she learn all these wonderful ideas and beliefs and concepts for raising girls? It couldn’t have been from me, because, well, because I have learned them all from her.
However she came across all this knowledge, and whoever was good enough to teach her these things, I esteem them, because Kim amazes me, and now – as I watch her daughter preparing to become a mother of a daughter, I know the kind of mother she will be, because I know the kind of mother she has.
And despite the fact that I really want to just stay young and be a kid for a few more years (and yes, I know, I should have grown up years ago, but I just haven’t had time to) I find myself looking forward to watching Salise begin yet another generation of our family.
Maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to learn from her as well, about being an amazing mom, and I’ll improve my third generational techniques as I begin to take lessons from my own daughter on how to be the grandma every kid deserves to have – because I know that is the kind of grandma my daughter, and Salise’s mother, will be.
I have come to believe that being a parent, a grandparent, and then – a little later in life – (ouch) a great-grandparent is about the only thing that makes getting old worthwhile.