Wisdom for the week of June 28

“What you do makes a difference,
and you have to decide
what kind of difference you want to make.”
~Jane Goodall

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Why Older Women Don’t Get Pregnant

gm12I can tell you why. As I am sitting here, ice on my hip, Tylenol finding its way through my system to the pain centers, eyes bleary and mind feeling drugged, I can tell you exactly why older women don’t get pregnant:

We are too frail – mentally and physically – to care for little kids who have more energy than those squirrels that I see scampering around outside my window.

Those of us, like me, who have already cared for infants, babies, toddlers and little children when those kids called us “Mom”, are now finding ourselves being called “Grams” or “Grammy” or “Iwannadrinkofwaternow!” by our grandchildren.

There is first hand experience talking here, as Joe and I just spent this weekend watching the two youngest grandsons to allow their parents some time away to celebrate their anniversary. Seemed like a good idea when we presented it to them. And it probably was.

We had good quality time with the boys – time to talk, play, eat, draw and splatter play-dough all over the kitchen floor. And time to let them rearrange almost every item in the house that isn’t bolted down. So far I have managed to find the little cowboy hats and boots that serve as playing pieces on a small ceramic tic-tac-toe board. I’ve also discovered the whereabouts of the two flashlights that normally reside on our bedside tables. Still MIA, however, is my small banjo case. The one I was going to put my traveling banjo in and bring with me on my trip to the west coast in the fall. That thing, by banjo standards, is tiny, but still stands taller than the two year old. How could he have possibly hidden it so completely?

Good kids, both of them, capable of entertaining themselves much of the time and not particularly rammy, I still found it took every ounce of energy to be their caretaker for forty-eight hours. Am I that old that I can’t do this anymore?

Well, the answer is, “yes” and “no”. While most certainly age and a definite lack of energy does play a factor here, Joe and I have come to a place in our lives where we set our own agendas, work during the hours that best fit into our days; and exercise, socialize and relax according to our own schedules. When there are suddenly two little people for whom we have to rearrange those schedules and possibly put them on hold (the schedules, that is, not the kids), fatigue quickly overcomes us. Not to mention, as my daughter so wisely noted, Joe and I are responsible for only each other on a day-to-day basis. The addition of caring for two little ones and making sure they are safe, secure and happy puts an extra burden on us emotionally. Are those screams coming from the upstairs playroom screams of joy? Or is one of the boys batting his brother with a drumstick? When I hear no sounds at all from up there blissful relief is quickly overtaken by the thought that something must be terribly wrong – for little boys are almost never quiet.

For all of this, however, I will never pass on an opportunity to take care of the grandkids. It gives me too much pleasure. And will gladly do so again. Perhaps sometime next year. For a couple of hours. With a hired babysitter present. But only if I find that banjo case.

 

 

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