This weekend I had the delicious opportunity to hold some babies. Is there a more lovely feeling than the warm trusting weight of a 3-month-old wee one, curled in toward your neck and sleeping on your shoulder? It blisses me out. Sigh.
Not once but twice (twice!) the following conversation happened with two different people:
Young, mid-20-something mom walks by and notices me holding baby: "Aww. Look at you! Practicing to be a grandma?"
Okay, so let me just say up front that I am absolutely looking forward to being a grandma. Someday. I think it will rank right up there with the most fantastic and wonderful of gigs--in the dim, rather distant future. But just because I have an 18-year-old daughter doesn't mean I'm actively practicing to be a grandma or that it's even on my radar screen. (Hear that, Lauren*?)
On the other hand, I am newly 42 which is very much an awkward, generationally ambidextrous age. I get it. Some 42-year-olds are grandmas, after all. Biologically it's possible. Others (including several of my friends) are still having babies themselves.
It wasn't out of line to say. They were being friendly. It just surprised me! Aren't I just a little past mid-20-something myself?
No, for me it was an abrupt paradigm shifting moment, like those optical illusions where some people see the young lovely woman and others see the old hag**. Our ward, for example, is pretty brim full of young moms and pretty scarce on the ones at my stage. Suddenly, I realized how they must see me! I think of myself as their peer but they must think of me pretty much as their mothers' peer! OY.
. . .
*of course, the irony here is that I made my own lovely, young mother into a grandmother when she was just shy of 48. So I'm one to a talk, huh?
**I'm definitely not implying that grandmothers look like old hags. Just using it as a vivid demonstration of the shift I experienced...